SP to buy LEADS Online for police

Published 12:23 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SOUTH POINT — The South Point Village Council Tuesday night gave its blessing to the acquisition of LEADS Online for the police department; the possibility of adjusting the ordinance regarding junk cars was also discussed.

Police Chief Chris Majher told the council he would like to spend $1,500 of his budget for an annual fee to join LEADS Online, a national law enforcement database that, among other things, keeps track of purchases at pawn across the country.

Such businesses are required to ask for identification when they purchase items from people. This information is forwarded the LEADS. The idea is simple: if someone in, say, South Point finds his car or rifle or riding lawn mower stolen, Majher and his officers have instant access to recent items sold not only at Tri-State scrap yards and pawn shops, but any such shop anywhere in the country.

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“In the last 10 years it’s become really bad, stolen catalytic converters, copper thefts,” Majher said after the meeting. “We have a limited staff and this will help us track what’s being scrapped and pawned. It eliminates a lot of footwork.”

Right now Majher and staff must call or visit each scrap yard or pawn shop when an item is reported stolen. This sometimes takes the officer off the street to do this. LEADS Online can even be accessed via cellular phone with the right application. Majher has used the LEADS Online through the sheriff’s office but the sheriff’s contract will not permanently allow him to do this.

Also Tuesday, council member Chris Smith suggested amending the village’s junk car ordinance. Right now, a police officer can investigate reports of junk cars only if someone complains first. Smith said he thinks the police should be able to investigate possible junk cars when they see one and perhaps take action on the spot.

“If they see a junk car and think its an eyesore, this would let them do their job,” Smith explained.

Majher agreed with the proposal.