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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin calls for halt on card readers

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Posted at 4:23 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-17 17:23:14-04

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Governor Mary Fallin has directed the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to delay the use of credit card reading devices. 

Earlier this week, bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups asked Gov. Mary Fallin to order a stop to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's use of mobile scanners capable of seizing money loaded onto prepaid debit cards by alleged criminals.

A statement was sent Friday saying “The Department of Public Safety needs to formulate a clear policy for using this new technology,” said Fallin. “It can be a viable tool for law enforcement only if authorities are able to ensure Oklahoma motorists and others driving through our state that it will be used appropriately.”

READ ENTIRE STATEMENT HERE

Republican Sen. Kyle Loveless of Oklahoma City and Democratic Rep. Cory Williams of Stillwater are among those who sent a letter to Fallin on Wednesday asking the governor to issue an executive order suspending use of the devices until the Legislature can address the issue.

Law enforcement officials say it's an important tool as drug traffickers and other criminals have started loading large sums of cash on gift or prepaid debit cards for transport.

Deployment of the scanners comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture has come under criticism in Oklahoma.