Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gloucester County license plate readers help nab suspended drivers |

Gloucester County license plate readers help nab suspended drivers |

Gloucester County license plate readers help nab suspended drivers

Carly Q. Romalino/ South Jersey Times By Carly Q. Romalino/ South Jersey Times 
on January 31, 2013 at 8:00 AM, updated January 31, 2013 at 8:33 AM
FRANKLIN TWP. — Ptl. Mike Neher fired up the automatic license plate reader, then pulled the new police cruiser out of Franklin Township Police station’s parking lot.
One after another, photos of vehicle plates in front of the cruiser and on each side popped up on the mobile data terminal screen on Neher’s dash as he patrolled Delsea Drive from Malaga to the Clayton border.
In 40 minutes, the ALPR scanned the plates of more than 180 vehicles on Route 47, Route 40 and side roads in the township.
Then, there was a hit on a gray Hyundai Elantra driving toward Clayton on Delsea Drive.
“MVC SUSPENDED” flashed on the terminal’s screen.
Franklin’s November installation of the $18,000 plate reader is among the most recent in the county. Monroe Township’s force purchased its first ALPR more than two years ago.
“The first day we turned it on we popped a fugitive,” said Franklin Township Police Chief Mike Rock.
The equipment is expected to pay for itself in less than six months. Between Nov. 13 and 30, the plate reader helped officers issue about 173 more summonses with an average of about 300 to 400 extra summonses issued in Franklin Township every month, according to Rock.
This year, the license plate reader is anticipated to generate at least $40,000 in revenue for the township.
“It’s not just about tickets and revenue. It’s about getting people off the road who shouldn’t be on the road,” Rock said.
Drivers with suspended licenses, like the driver of the gray Hyundai Elantra, are a risk to other drivers on the road, Neher said.
A driver without car insurance could be a “risk” to other drivers, he added.
Plus, suspended registrations and drivers licenses that show up on Neher’s ALPR screen could be indicators of other criminal offenses like outstanding warrants.
“If I pull him over I can call dispatch and find out if he it’s suspended because he has a warrant,” said Neher, tailing the Hyundai.
The plate reader, which is tied into a database at the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, is also an investigative tool, according to the chief.
Each license plate scanned is timestamped, dated and logged with the vehicles location. The information can be stored in the database for up to five years.
While Rock said the information can be used to corroborate a suspected criminal’s alibi in some cases, others say the scanning of innocent drivers’ plates could be an infringement of personal privacy.
Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union’s New Jersey chapter requested information from 21 police departments in the state — including Vineland, Cherry Hill, Camden and Atlantic City — regarding the use of information logged by the plate readers.
“The ALPR technology scans the license plates of every car passing within view of its camera,” said Tom MacLeod, open governance attorney for the ACLU-NJ. “Ordinarily, to stop somebody, similar to needing a warrant to search someone, (an officer) generally needs some type of suspicion they are engaged in some type of wrongdoing.”
The ACLU worries that motorists’ locations are being logged by law enforcement databases, although there is no probable cause that the driver has committed a violation.
“There could be a neighborhood police believe experiences a great deal of crime,” MacLeod explained. “Perhaps you go there frequently because your mom lives there. There is no distinguishing motivation for being a particular location for a particular period of time.”
Rock, however, said the equipment and database information has lead to arrests of fugitives.
“I understand people’s concerns with privacy, but I just don’t see it that way because it’s a two-step process,” the chief said.
When a license plate is scanned, only limited information — the license plate number, make, model and color of the car, and warning about suspended licenses or vehicle registration — is initially available to the officer. The driver’s name, address and driving history are not immediately displayed.
More than 10 years ago, case law was established regarding officers’ use of the mobile data terminals in which officers can quickly run a vehicle’s plates by manually typing it into the computer. According to Rock, officers can run the plates, but cannot randomly pull someone over unless there is a probable cause.
“The license plate reader runs the same way,” he said.
The ACLU has not issued an official opinion on ALPR privacy invasion complaints, MacLeod said.
The organization, he added, is not opposed to technological advances that provide labor savings for law enforcement.
Neher, who has been working with the ALPR since the start of the year, said the equipment is “a lot safer” for officers patroling the road.
“It helps you observe more than you would with radar,” Neher said. “You can look around more because you’re not just concentrated on the radar.”
The equipment frees him up to scan for other possible motor vehicle or suspicious roadside activity, he added.
“I’m not gonna lie,” Neher said. “It does a lot of the work for you ... (but) I’m getting a suspended driver who’s not insured. He’s a risk.”

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License plate reader bill advances in Senate committee | Deseret News

License plate reader bill advances in Senate committee | Deseret News:

License plate reader bill advances in Senate committee

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27 2013 3:59 p.m. MST

In this 2007 file photo, a Salt Lake City Police Officer uses a license plate reader on his patrol car. A bill requiring the deletion of data scanned on a license plate reader received a favorable recommendation Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, from a Senate committee. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News) In this 2007 file photo, a Salt Lake City Police Officer uses a license plate reader on his patrol car. A bill requiring the deletion of data scanned on a license plate reader received a favorable recommendation Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, from a Senate committee. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — A bill requiring the deletion of data scanned on a license plate reader received a favorable recommendation Wednesday from a Senate committee.
Law enforcement agencies across the state commonly use data of a motorist’s whereabouts from license plate scanners in tracking down criminals.
SB196, sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, would bar law enforcement from retaining the data for longer than six months to guard against divorce lawyers or police who may misuse the scanners.
"This type of technology is impressive, but it's also creepy," Weiler said.
The bill was amended by the Senate Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee to require private entities to delete the data within seven days of the reading. Public entities would have nine months to do so.
Marina Lowe, legislative and policy council for the ACLU of Utah, said the bill is a great idea but doesn't go far enough.
"The tracking of people's movements can be a significant invasion of people's privacy," Lowe said. "Retaining the data for 12 hours would be sufficient."
The bill would also bar a person or governmental entity from using an automatic license plate reader system, except under certain circumstances. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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Automated License Plate Reader leads to recovery of stolen vehicle - Redwood Times

Automated License Plate Reader leads to recovery of stolen vehicle - Redwood Times:

Automated License Plate Reader leads to recovery of stolen vehicle

Redwood Times

Click photo to enlarge
On Saturday, Feb. 23 at approximately 11:30 a.m. a Eureka Police officer, who was operating a patrol unit outfitted with the Automated License Plate Reader, received a “hit” on a vehicle, which was traveling north on “E” Street near Sonoma Street in Eureka.The officer broadcasted the information to other EPD units and the vehicle was quickly located still traveling north on “E” Street. A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle, which failed to yield for several blocks, traveling at low speeds, but failing to stop at posted stop signs and driving erratically.
The driver eventually pulled into a parking lot at the Eureka Inn and a high-risk traffic stop was conducted. The vehicle was occupied by two subjects who were taken into custody without incident.
The driver, identified as Thomas Dale Applewhite, 18 years old, from Eureka was arrested and booked at the Humboldt County Jail on charges of possession of stolen property, failure to yield, driving under the influence of a controlled substance and or alcohol, driving without a license, and probation violation. Applewhite was released from jail on a promise to appear later.
The passenger, identified as Kristina Rosaamelia Campos, 25 years old, from Eureka was arrested and booked on a violation of public intoxication.
The registered owner of the vehicle was contacted and their vehicle was returned to them at the scene.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dallas City Council approved spending $3.2 million

DALLAS — The Dallas City Council moved forward Wednesday with the purchase of software and cameras that can read vehicle license plates and transmit data to the Dallas Police Department.
Fort Worth, Grapevine and Arlington already use the cameras. The Dallas decision, however, was not without controversy and concern over the privacy of law-abiding drivers, whose license plates will be scanned and then retained by police.
The Council approved spending $3.2 million with vendor Iron Sky to provide software and cameras for 14 fixed locations around Dallas and 14 police patrol cars initially, with the order potentially up to 140 cameras over five years.

But Council member Angela Hunt, who cast the lone vote against the decision, said she was "extremely concerned" about police going on a "fishing expedition" of data that the department says it will retain for up to six months of the license plates belonging to drivers not listed in any law enforcement computers.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown
admitted that the department is only now drafting a policy regarding how long the information should be use, but he assured Council members that the technology only works when there is a license plate of a suspected vehicle in a law enforcement computer that the camera software will then identify.
Brown said the American Civil Liberties Union has approved police agencies retaining such data for non-suspicious vehicles for three to six months. Brown said data on suspicious or stolen vehicles would be retained indefinitely, or limited perhaps to five years.

Council members Delia Jasso, Jerry Allen and Pauline Medrano joined Hunt in expressing some concern about privacy matters and the retention of license plate data by police.

But a City Council majority sided with Mayor Mike Rawlings, who pushed for a vote Wednesday. Rawlings said that technology is "powerful, but also a terrible responsibility" that police must accept. He added that police must "use power in a thoughtful and disciplined manner."
With Brown's assurance that the technology would not be abused, the Council approved the purchase. However, a committee will review how long the data on law-abiding drivers should be retained and then the full Council will have to vote on that policy.

Police hope to get the cameras and software operating by April.
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Saturday, February 23, 2013

RTV6 - Fort Wayne police getting license plate readers - Local Story

RTV6 - Fort Wayne police getting license plate readers - Local Story:

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Fort Wayne Police Chief Rusty York says his department is getting automatic license plate readers that will help police find stolen vehicles and could help in serious crimes like homicides.

The Journal Gazette reports the department is using a $56,000 government grant to equip two cars with four cameras, allowing license plates to be read from all sides of the vehicle. These readers store information and then crosscheck it against a database of stolen vehicles.

But York says if a homicide witnesses remembered the license plate number, police could theoretically comb through data collected by the readers to see if that car was spotted at any other place on another day.

The American Civil Liberties Union questions whether police will use the readers to track law-abiding citizens.

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Chico Police Awaiting Approval for New License Plate Readers | Local News - Home

Chico Police Awaiting Approval for New License Plate Readers | Local News - Home:

POSTED: 6:23 PM Feb 18 2013  UPDATED: 6:30 AM Feb 18 2013

CHICO, Calif. -
Chico Police are looking to get an "OK" from the city council Tues. night to buy a device that would make it easier for officers to read license plates.
Chico Police have been working on this proposal for months now and they say it won't cost the city a dime -- at least for now.
City leaders and officers are on board with the idea but some concerned citizens have said that this could be an invasion of privacy.
"I understand there are pros and cons, but to me it's getting a little personal," said John Skytte, who opposed the idea. "I think it's a good idea but then you stretched that line of black and white."
Chico Police have a different view. They said they are eagerly awaiting the green light to get the automatic license plate reader (ALPR) .
“We are being asked to accept the contribution of this community in order to provide ALPR," said Councilman Randall Stone.
Stone is one of the seven people this proposal has to go through on Tuesday night. He said this would not cost the city anything for about three years.
A private business fund raised nearly $23,000 to buy the reader.  It would sit right on top of the light bar on a Chico Police patrol car.
It can read up to 240 plates a minute and tell officers if the plate is linked to any criminal activity.
"It's called a force-multiplier because it almost acts though as we have multiple police officers," added Stone.
The device would cost the city $1,000 a year after three years, but there has been speculation that this device could be an invasion of privacy.
"That info cannot be maintained any longer than 60 days.  It's also can't be viewed by anyone outside of law enforcement with a search warrant," said Stone.
With the sudden spike of crime in Chico over the past month, Stone said it is a step in the right direction and that his fellow council members feel the same way.
"We want to give them the tools that help them and I think they'll value the ALPR," said Stone.
The meeting will be held Tues. night at the city council chambers and Stone is confident the proposal will pass.

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License plate readers help police recover stolen cars -

License plate readers help police recover stolen cars -

License plate readers help police recover stolen cars

WESTTOWN — A stolen car was recovered and a suspected car thief was arrested after they were identified by a patrol vehicle equipped with real-time license plate reading technology, police said.

According to the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department, 41-year-old Salvatore Giacona, of Claymont, Del., was pulled over after he drove past a patrol vehicle equipped with an automated license plate reader system in the 1100 block of Wilmington Pike (Route 202) around 4:45 p.m. Saturday.

Police said the vehicle was rented from a car rental company at Philadelphia International Airport last August, but Giacona allegedly never returned the vehicle.

But when he drove past Officer Peter Keegan’s marked vehicle Saturday, a rear-facing camera captured the registration tag of the blue Ford Fusion and automatically alerted the officer that the vehicle was stolen.
Police officials said Keegan alerted backup units he had located a stolen vehicle, and followed behind until they arrived. Keegan and the assisting units from several area agencies pulled over the vehicle without incident and made contact with Giacona.

Investigators said they determined Giacona had stolen the vehicle from the Philadelphia rental location, and the Philadelphia Police Department and the rental company were both notified of the arrest.

Giacona was charged with receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of an automobile and driving with a suspended license, police said. He was transported to Chester County Prison overnight and released Sunday after posting bail, according to court records.

Arresting officers were assisted by members of the Birmingham Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police.

The Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department is one of several departments in Chester County that has a patrol car equipped with the license plate reader technology. The department obtained the system through a federal grant just over a year ago, and it has led to the recovery of three stolen vehicles, police said.

The system employs the use of three high-resolution cameras, two pointing forward and one to the rear, that automatically run passing license plates through a database and instantly determines if the vehicle is stolen.
The Coatesville, West Chester, and West Whiteland police departments are among the other county police force’s that have patrol vehicles equipped with license plate reader technology.

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Bell Gardens to Buy License Plate Readers to Aid Police : Eastern Group Publications

Bell Gardens to Buy License Plate Readers to Aid Police : Eastern Group Publications:

Bell Gardens to Buy License Plate Readers to Aid Police

The readers will monitor cars coming in and out of the city.
By EGP Staff Report
The Bell Gardens City Council has approved a request from the police department to purchase permanent license plate readers to assist them in solving crimes.
Six permanent license plate readers will be installed at the intersections of Garfield and Eastern and at Eastern and Watcher, where they will read the license plates of cars driving through the intersections.
Bell Gardens Police Department’s Traffic Sgt. Efren Aguirre told EGP the license plate readers will help police track cars coming in and out of the city.
The readers automatically search the DMV’s computer system as a car drives by to determine if the vehicle has been reported involved in a crime. The readers will send a photograph of each vehicle and the accompanying information to a dispatch center for review.
The purpose is to recognize any type of vehicle involved in a crime, spot stolen cars, wanted vehicles, or cars being investigated, said Aguirre.
The city council voted during the Feb. 11 meeting to waive the formal bid process and authorized the police department to purchase six fixed automatic license plate readers from PIPS Technologies using funds from a $100,000 grant the city received from the Homeland Security Grant Funding Program in August 2012.
According to Aguirre, the project must first be approved by the County, but he anticipates the license plate readers will be in place within two months.
The Bell Gardens Police Department currently has two mobile license plate readers affixed to police cars.

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Emerson Police Department awaits arrival of automatic license plate reader -

Emerson Police Department awaits arrival of automatic license plate reader -

Emerson Police Department awaits arrival of automatic license plate reader

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2013, 4:18 PM

The Emerson Police Department is waiting on the delivery of an automatic license plate reader, a device that can instantaneously read six plates in a matter of seconds.

According to Police Chief Donald Rossi, the reader, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

"Anything that can read 1,000 license plates in an hour is phenomenal," said Rossi, who has communicated with officers using the device in departments throughout Bergen County, including Westwood and Oradell.

There have been up to four arrests documented in one hour, noted Rossi. "You sit on the side of the road and flag every vehicle."

Rossi further explained that in a standard vehicle stop, the patrol officer manually inputs the license plate number in their vehicle's computer terminal. They then call dispatch to notify them of the location of the license plate check and the make and model of the car.

Usually this process requires a vehicle stop, but through the plate reader's camera attached to the police car the process would be automatic. The reader, which is constantly scanning all of the plates in its view, is capable of picking up plates on a car traveling up to 35 mph, which would be difficult for an officer to manually input.

With the new system, patrol officers can keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel, noted the chief.

Supplied by GTMB, a company that designs and develops software products for law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey, the plate reader notifies the officer of any red flags.

The reader can also detect suspended licenses and outstanding violations and warrants, noted the chief, calling the reader "an up and coming tool."

The software provided by GTMB is called Info-Cop and it has access to hundreds of public safety departments throughout the country. It also provides immediate access over wireless networks to local, state, and federal crime databases.

The license plate information the reader collects is compiled in databases that can only be accessed by law enforcement officers.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

New York City Police Department and Microsoft Partner to Bring Real-Time Crime Prevention and Counterterrorism Technology Solution to Global Law Enforcement Agencies

New York City Police Department and Microsoft Partner to Bring Real-Time Crime Prevention and Counterterrorism Technology Solution to Global Law Enforcement Agencies:

NEW YORK — Aug. 8, 2012 — New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced a partnership with Microsoft Corp. designed to bring the latest crime prevention and counterterrorism technology capabilities to worldwide law enforcement, public safety and intelligence agencies, among others. 
The NYPD teamed with Microsoft to develop the Domain Awareness System (DAS), a sophisticated law enforcement technology solution that aggregates and analyzes public safety data in real time, providing NYPD investigators and analysts with a comprehensive view of potential threats and criminal activity.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a news conference in New York, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (left) and Microsoft Vice President of Americas Services Mike McDuffie (right).
Partnership Announcement in New York
August 08, 2012
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks during a news conference in New York, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly (left) and Microsoft Vice President of Americas Services Mike McDuffie (right).
Download: Web | Print

For example, analysts are notified of suspicious packages and vehicles, and NYPD personnel can actively search for suspects using advanced technologies such as smart cameras and license plate readers.
The NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed the DAS by bringing together Microsoft’s technical expertise and technologies with the day-to-day experience and knowledge of NYPD officers. The result is a solution that is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of its users. As part of the agreement, the NYPD will receive 30 percent of revenue from the sales of the DAS system to other customers worldwide.
“Part of the reason we have been able to continue driving down crime to record lows while devoting considerable resources to counterterrorism is our heavy investment in technology and our willingness to develop new, cutting-edge solutions to keep New Yorkers safe,” Bloomberg said. “This new system capitalizes on new, powerful policing software that allows police officers and other personnel to more quickly access relevant information gathered from existing cameras, 911 calls, previous crime reports, and other existing tools and technology. It will help the NYPD do more to prevent crimes from occurring and help them respond to crimes even more effectively. And because the NYPD built the system in partnership with Microsoft, the sale of the product will generate revenue for the city that will fund more new crime-prevention and counterterrorism programs.” 
“The system is a transformative tool because it was created by police officers for police officers,” Kelly said. “Its development is a testament to the talent and experience of our officers. And this agreement with Microsoft will allow the NYPD to continue to fund innovative counterterrorism and crime prevention programs.”
DAS combines NYPD operational knowledge with Microsoft technology expertise, and Microsoft is now bringing the solution to market in an effort to extend these capabilities to other jurisdictions. Public safety organizations interested in deploying DAS will go through a process of customization based on unique organizational and regional requirements.
“Microsoft is honored to partner with the NYPD to provide these important public safety capabilities to other jurisdictions,” said Kathleen Hogan, corporate vice president of Microsoft Services. “The NYPD is a respected leader and is continually innovating to help ensure the safety of New York’s citizens. It is a privilege to support its work with our technology and professional services.”
For more information on the solution, law enforcement organizations can
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. 
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Google Alert - Automatic license plate readers - - Gmail

Google Alert - Automatic license plate readers - - Gmail:

LOWER MAKEFIELD, Pa. (CBS) – Several police departments in Bucks County now have a new high-tech tool to help in the fight against crime.
Thanks to a grant from Homeland Security, eight police departments now have an automatic license-plate reader.
High-tech cameras are attached to the rear of a police car and they can scan up to 1,800 license plate images per minute.
It quickly identifies wanted or stolen vehicles, fugitives and potential gang members or terrorists.
“These cameras help the officer by increasing the number of tags that are actually captured and an alarm goes off in the officer’s vehicle that indicates that a tag is on a list and is wanted,” says Lower Makefield police chief Ken Coluzzi.
Each unit costs about $18,000.
A total of 38 plate readers are being awarded to police departments throughout the five county Philadelphia area. They are being strategically selected because they are in high traffic areas.

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License plates readers help police in Athens ID violators, criminals | Online Athens

License plates readers help police in Athens ID violators, criminals | Online Athens:

License plates readers help police in Athens ID violators, criminals

Senior Police Officer Geoff Walsh last week drove on a street downtown when an alarm in his patrol car sounded. It went off again a few seconds later, accompanied by a computer-generated voice that said, “Medium priority alert.”
It was an automatic license plate reader (ALPR) letting the officer know that two cars parked on East Washington Street had expired registrations.
Trunk-mounted cameras on Walsh’s patrol car, capable of taking as many as 5,000 photos per hour, scan vehicle tags and compares them to a database of cars that are unregistered, uninsured or reported stolen.
But the potential uses for ALPRs are so much greater.
Since local police began using the system last summer, officers have made several felony arrests after they stopped cars for motor vehicle law violations and found the driver was a wanted criminal.
An ALPR even helped solve an Eastside Athens bank robbery in January.
“It’s been a great tool for us, and we’re just scratching the surface of what it can do,” Walsh said.
Tag numbers are entered into the Athens-Clarke police ALPR system about twice a month from the Georgia Crime Information Center. There currently are about 2.5 million tag numbers in the system.
Athens-Clarke Assistant Police Chief Carter Greene said four cars are currently outfitted with ALPRs — one patrol car each from the east and west precincts, the downtown substation and a traffic unit.
The police department received the systems in March, then after training officers to use them, the devices went live sometime in the summer, he said.
On Walsh’s car, two of the cameras are angled forward, and the other two toward the back.
That way, they can take photos of cars in two lanes of travel as an officer approaches or passes vehicles from the other direction.
The ALPRs work so good that officers must prioritize which cars they stop to issue citations.
Walsh said that one day he got out to write up a violator’s ticket and upon returning to his patrol car saw that the ALPR registered 14 “hits” on tags of cars that passed by.
“This thing can send you off in 10 different directions at the same time, so you have to be head-smart so you’re not chasing your tail,” Walsh said. “Sometimes you have to swallow your pride and let someone go for another day.”
Stopping an uninsured vehicle takes priority over chasing down an expired registration.
“We have to take those vehicles off the road,” Walsh said. “In the event of a wreck, you don’t want a person without any insurance hurting somebody.”
Even though an ALPR might sound an alert on a tag, an officer must still verify violations by checking with GCIC, the state crime database.
In addition to regularly updating the ALPR system with new tag numbers to locate motor vehicle law violators, according to Greene, a tag can be entered at any time when it’s on a vehicle wanted in connection with an Amber alert or a violent-crime lookout.
Local police have made several felony arrests as the result of ALPR-initiated traffic stops after they found the drivers of vehicles with violations also had outstanding arrest warrants or contraband.
A couple of weeks ago, Walsh was patrolling the Athens Perimeter when the ALPR alerted him that the car in front of his had an expired tag. He arrested the driver when a computer check revealed he was wanted in Oglethorpe County on a child-cruelty charge. He also was driving on a suspended license and had marijuana in the vehicle, police said.
Sometimes ALPRs can help police when they don’t expect it.
On Jan. 7, a man robbed an Oconee State Bank branch inside the Lexington Road Walmart.
Surveillance video showed the suspect leaving in a silver 4-door Ford Taurus with tinted windows.
Jamie Elder was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene.
“Once he got to Walmart, he realized he might have gone by the suspect’s car driving away,” Walsh said. “Jamie went through his ALPR pictures and, shazam, he found it. He really knocked one out of the park.”
Once police had the name of the car’s registered owner, it took them just a day to track down and arrest the alleged bank robber — 42-year-old Michael Owen Watson of Athens.
While discovering all the different ways police can utilize ALPRs is a work in progress, Greene said the next step likely will be to use them to identify scofflaws who owe the county $50 or more in parking fines. And he anticipates additional cars will be equipped with the devices.
“ALPRs are a very effective tool in terms of capturing vehicle plates, and I think you will see an expansion of this in the future,” Greene said.
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