The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Highway Safety Committee (HSC), in cooperation with 3M's Traffic Safety and Security Division, announced the honorees of the 2014 Looking Beyond the License Plate award at the Highway Safety Awards breakfast during the IACP Annual Conference. This year's award recognizes law enforcement from Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Virginia, and Londrina, Brazil.
Top Honor Awarded
The IACP Highway Safety Committee unanimously selected Officer David Pilkington of the Chandler (Ariz.) Police Department as the top honor recipient of the 2014 Looking Beyond the License Plate award. Pilkington used license plate reader equipment in a Chandler police vehicle to help identify a stolen vehicle. Parking lot video surveillance helped Officer Pilkington to identify the suspect who stole the vehicle. Further investigation revealed that both the suspect and the vehicle may have been involved in a homicide.
Six other police officers on five occasions were recognized by the award evaluators for their initiative in solving serious crimes via license plates:
- Trooper Brian Bass, Georgia State Patrol, identified a vehicle matching a description issued in an Amber Alert. Two men were taken into custody and the kidnapped mother and child were also located and found to be unharmed.
- Officers Franciele Soares and Bruno Nunes, Londriana, Brazil, identified a vehicle with a stolen license plate carrying more than 460 pounds of cocaine and more than 315 pounds of marijuana. Officers also seized cash and arrested the driver.
- Trooper Jeffrey Crofoot, Michigan State Police-Cadillac Post, identified a stolen vehicle involved in the shooting death of Michigan State Police Trooper Paul Butterfield. One of the suspects linked to the vehicle was tried and convicted for the murder.
- Officer Daniel Sekely, Prince William County (Va.) Police Department, located a vehicle displaying altered tags. Receiving permission to search the vehicle, Sekely identified several items that were listed in a recent crime bulletin. The driver and seven other suspects were linked to nearly 70 burglaries in the area.
- Patrol Officer Nicholas Kundert, Colorado Springs (Colo.) Police Department, used a license plate number to help identify a stolen vehicle at a motel parking lot. While Kundert was inspecting the vehicle, the suspect locked the vehicle with the key fob from his motel room. With a search warrant, officers searched the suspect's room where they recovered the keys to the stolen vehicle as well as numerous items and financial information from more than 40 victims. Follow-up investigations led to the conviction of the suspect for theft, identity theft, possession of identity theft tools, forgery, and possession of identity documents.
The Looking Beyond the License Plate award is an IACP Highway Safety Committee program sponsored by 3M's Traffic Safety and Security Division that recognizes officers who used a license plate to help solve serious, non-traffic crimes. According to Police Chief magazine, past recipients of the award have been responsible for the capture of Most Wanted fugitives in Canada and Virginia; thwarted homicides; aided in the prompt arrest of a perpetrator of multiple, vicious abductions in northern Virginia; and aided in the apprehension of Timothy J. McVeigh just 75 minutes after the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Okla.
"License plates and license plate readers are effective law enforcement tools," said Mark Gates, Global Business Director, 3M. "We commend Officer Pilkington and the other officers honored by the Looking Beyond the License Plate award, as well as officers everywhere who have used license plates in creative ways to help solve serious crimes."
Visit 3M.com/lblp for more information regarding the Looking Beyond the License Plate award, including 2014 honoree stories and photos.
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