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      Albany Police Department's new tech nearly paid for itself

      In July, APD installed four license tag readers on vehicles - one for the traffic department and one for each of the three districts.

      In less than two months, the Albany Police Department's extra set of eyes have nearly paid for themselves.

      "Once you look at the figures and cross reference the amount of the citations that have been issued, they are well on their way to paying for themselves," said APD TMs Public Information Officer, Phyllis Banks.

      The department received four license tag readers that cost around $9,000 each in July to help locate motorists who aren't keeping their information updated. As of this week, the readers were responsible for 276 citations issued.

      "Citations have picked up tremendously with uninsured motorists, suspended registration, even the people that are suspended and the people who have probation violations. They numbers have really picked up," said Officer Maurice Williams, who operates one of the readers.

      Officials say although the tag readers are successful, they don't rely on them. Officers are still required to go through normal protocol when they pull somebody over. That protocol begins by running the information through the Georgia Crime Information Center, an up-to-date database of all driver information.

      "If we happen to hit on the vehicle and it is a mistake, we're going to verify it through GCIC, another route, to make sure that it is correct so they have nothing to fear," said Williams.

      Williams says the tag readers ensure there are less uninsured vehicles on the road - lessening the chance of a driver fleeing the scene of an accident. He says the readers are used to help those insured drivers feel more secure.

      "It's a privilege to have a license and we don't want those that are not following the correct rules, as far as licenses go, to be on the street," said Banks.