Saturday, February 9, 2013

Hillsdale Police to receive high-tech license plate reader for patrol car -

Hillsdale Police to receive high-tech license plate reader for patrol car -


One of the patrol cars in the Hillsdale Police Department's fleet will soon be outfitted with an automated license plate reader (ALPR), a device that can scan hundreds of vehicles to check for violations.

The department is able to acquire the system thanks to a federal Department of Homeland Security grant administered by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, according to Police Chief Chip Stalter. The funding will cover the equipment's purchase, installation and maintenance, the chief said.
"We're on the second wave of getting them. Westwood and Woodcliff Lake received them over a year ago, so did Paramus," said Stalter. "There was a priority scale set that has taken all the critical infrastructure into account that could become targets of terroristic activities - whether it be reservoirs, hospitals, shopping malls, etc. Other police agencies received them first, the ones that were deemed to have more critical facilities in their towns. It's part of a whole protection for Homeland Security," Stalter said.

Hillsdale was targeted because the Woodcliff Lake Reservoir and Dam is located within the town's borders, he said.

As the police vehicle equipped with the ALPR is on patrol, the reader automatically scans plates, captures an image of the number and converts it into a digital format to allow for it to be run through several databases - including local, county, state and federal - to check for any issues with a vehicle or its registered owner. The system automatically alerts the officer if the obtained information requires police action, Stalter said.
"Before this, an officer would have to manually enter in the number to the computer [in the patrol car] and wait for a response. This allows the officer to clearly process hundreds of plates during their normal work shift. It's a good tool for us," the chief said.
According to the chief, the reader can detect anything from routine violations, such as unregistered vehicles, and suspended licenses. It can also be used to help with stolen vehicle recovery, apprehension of individuals who are the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant or assisting with tracking down a suspect that is wanted by another police agency.
Stalter said the captured data is transmitted to computer systems at the Bergen CountyProsecutor's Office, where authorities can monitor it for suspected criminals or stolen vehicles, or keep it to be used in a potential future case.
"Any town that has the system - if they had a crime that occurred, they can check the data for specific plate numbers and it can be used to do research," the chief said.
Stalter expects the department will receive the reader within the next month.

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