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Officers now equipped with new crime fighting tool

READ MORE: Officers now equipped with new crime fighting tool
State Attorney General, Roy Cooper, announced a new crime fighting initiative Monday. Officers now have access to information that will help them track probation violators, and crack down on identity theft. Its not uncommon for a suspected criminal to give a fake name. Take John Dickinson. Before being found out, he fooled law enforcement more than once by giving bad information. "I'd actually go to a trial when my name is John Dickinson and the trial was for Alfred Pye," said Dickinson. Deputy Charles Smith said, "In the past, we've had some instances where a twin, a close relative, or someone who looks very similar will provide false information to law enforcement." Now, there is a weapon to fight back. If a suspect gives an alias, instantly police can run a name and date of birth to see if someone is in fact who they say they are. “Providing this information directly to the officer in the field will be a great asset that we have not had readily available in the past," said Deputy Smith. The Department of Corrections, along with the DMV, have linked networks, allowing officers to access driver's license photos. What's more, simple driver's license checks will now instantly return probation and parole records. That means, anyone in a uniform can help an overloaded probation system by identifying offenders. North Carolina was the first state to test this program. Sixty counties already have this program up and running, the remaining 40 will be up and running next month, and New Hanover County is one of them.

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