ABBEVILLE, La. (KLFY) — The Abbeville Police Department has received nearly $40,000 in grant funds to install license plate reader cameras. 

“To keep up with crime nowadays, you have to be able to use modern equipment, and that’s one thing that the department had applied for, and we were able to get it,” said Abbeville Police Chief Mike Hardy. 

“To ratify payment of an invoice for $39,990.99 payable to Motorola for the purchase and installation of license plate reader cameras. The expense is reimbursable by grant funds,” Abbeville Mayor Rosyln White said. 

Hardy said the previous administration applied for the grant.

“We are part of a Motorola group of LPRs, and they’re not mounted on poles; they’re mounted on cars,” he said. 

He added that the department is partnered with departments all over the country. 

“If somebody commits a crime and we know their license plate number, we put the license plate number in, and if they leave here to go anywhere where the department has some of these LPRs. If they see them, they document them, or they will get a hit. It will be on a hot list, and when they get a hit on it, we know all right where our car is,” he told News 10. “It can be a kidnapper; it can be anything if you’re looking for a certain license number. This thing catches all of them. Everything that goes in front of it is red.”

The money was used to supply two units. 

“We can park these vehicles where they look like just parked cars, and they can document every vehicle in and out of a parking space, a garage. It can be anything; Walmart parking lot,” he said.  

He added that the federal government is putting grants out there, and departments have to be able to apply for those grants to make ends meet. 

“We knew we were getting refunded, but we have to pay for it when it comes in, and then the grant money replaces that money that we use,” said the chief. 

He said the company has cameras all over the country, which can help when looking for people of interest who have committed a crime. 

“Right now, we’re just trying to see how good this is going to work. If it works like we think it is, maybe we’ll look for more, but we’re going to have to write more grants. Right now, we have other priorities: bulletproof vests and radios are my top priorities right now for the department,” Hardy said.