I was listening to the news this morning, and there was a report of a local woman who was the victim of a home invasion. The woman got the make and partial license plate number of the vehicle the perpetrators drove off in. The news report gave the vehicle and partial license information, and asked the public for help in identifying the perps.
This is not the first time I've been astonished that the police don't have some kind of unified relational interstate database that allows them to search for vehicle make (or even type, like 2-door sedan, suv, etc), and partial license plate number (and/or the color of the car, and/or the race and age of the owner). With an iota of forethought, this would be utterly trivial to implement. But no, apparently it is considered cutting edge technology; last year a patent was filed describing just such a database.
I've come across a few people who firmly believe the government tracks too much of the information associated with their daily lives. I doubt this is true, but even if it is, it is quite apparent the government is completely unable to organize the information in any meaningful or useful manner. It is like the IQ of the bureaucrats who design these systems is dominated by the person with the lowest IQ of the group.