LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) --Cab drivers see just about anything on the road from accidents and emergencies to impaired driving and even illegal activity in some parts of town. But now, with a program called 'Taxis on Patrol', cab drivers are helping police catch those responsible.
"You never know what the day is going to bring you," says Bryan Lafevers. All day he drives the streets of Little Rock earning a living as a cab driver.
"You see some things you're glad to see and some things you don't want to see," says Lafevers.
He never knows where he'll end up or who will take him there.
"About three or four years ago, I took a guy out to West Little Rock. He proceeded to break into a house and found out the guy had once lived there and the owners had a protective order against him. Sheriff's Department came driving up and I just told them, 'Hey, I'm the guy that brought him here. He says he lives here," says Lafevers.
It's one of several crimes cab drivers all over the city may witness just doing their jobs. But now, with the help of dash cam video, GPS tracking, and a training course, taxi drivers can record and report crimes to police and have the evidence to back it up.
"This working relationship between our dispatch functions, our law enforcement officers and first responders with witnesses who know what to look for and how to report it can only help us," says Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas.
A new title for Lafevers, cab driver and crime fighter
"People tell me this is sort of a dangerous job but somebody has to do it," says Lafevers.
Little Rock Yellow Cab President Ellis Houston says they installed cameras in more than one hundred taxis about two years ago. They can see what is going on inside and outside of the cab. He says drivers are trained not to intervene but to report what they see to their dispatcher and police.
The "Taxis on Patrol" program also launched in Birmingham, Alabama today and Biloxi, Mississippi just last week. The program has already been successful in more than forty states across the country.