PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — A federal grant will pay for Prairie Village to install license plate readers at traffic lights across the city.

The city started installing the readers at some of the busiest intersections and planned to install more over the next decade.

Now, thanks to the more than $600,000 federal grant, the cameras can be installed at every traffic light by the end of the year.

The license plate readers look like little black boxes that sit near a stop light or traffic camera, and are already up at some of Prairie Village’s busier intersections.

The license plate readers scan, or read, every license plate that goes through an intersection. If a plate matches to an active arrest warrant in a computer, officers get the information immediately. The information means officers can respond quickly.

The plate readers are different from traffic cameras.

Traffic cameras record video of intersections. If there’s a crash or a suspects leaves the scene of a crime, officers can go back and get information from the traffic camera to help with an investigation.

Another plus from Prairie Village’s new cameras. Every police department in the metro uses the same system. That means the departments can communicate better to solve crimes.

They also hope the cameras act as deterrents to keep crimes from ever happening.

Several metro cities say they’ve already used license plate readers to catch suspected criminals.

Prairie Village says the license plate readers will not be used to catch red-light runners or speeders.