License-plate readers to help fight crime in EPA

Scanners are designed to identify stolen and wanted vehicles on the spot

East Palo Alto police will soon have two vehicle license plate readers to cut down on stolen vehicles and find wanted criminals, police Chief Ronald Davis has announced.

The readers, or LPRs, use high-speed cameras and sophisticated computer algorithms capable of converting the images of license plates into computer-readable data. The plates can be compared against stolen and wanted vehicle lists.

The devices will be mounted in patrol vehicles and will automatically scan all vehicles within a specific radius of the patrol car. If the vehicle is stolen or wanted, the system will immediately alert the officer.

The new technology will supplement a current LPR system used by the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office in collaboration with East Palo Alto. On the occasions when that system has been used, the results have been "extremely positive," Davis said in a press release.

The LPRs are being purchased through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. East Palo Alto's systems will allow the LPRs to be used throughout the city on a daily basis, according to police. East Palo Alto has seen a reduction in violent crimes of up to 51 percent so far in 2010, but vehicle thefts have increased by 13 percent.

"We believe this will greatly increase the department's ability to recover stolen and wanted vehicles and reduce overall auto thefts. The department will also work collaboratively with our neighboring police agencies and the sheriff to widen LPR coverage throughout the county," Davis said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Nov 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

The following is a 4 minute demo of how these license plate readers work --
Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) Demonstration:
Web Link

Every people department should start to use these systems, since they provide such an increase in effectiveness of patrol officers cruising the streets.

Like this comment
Posted by NotDrivingNow
a resident of another community
on Nov 19, 2010 at 10:39 am

>The following is a 4 minute demo of how these license
>plate readers work --
>Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) Demonstration:

Thanks for the link. Nice how he was typing while driving on there; I thought that was supposed to count as dangerous (when anyone but the police do it, anyway)?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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