The Police Department utilizes automated license plate reader technology for two primary functions: parking enforcement and patrol operations.
For parking enforcement, a fixed-mounted system is used on a specialized vehicle to read license plates and record GPS coordinates. This process allows City parking enforcement officers to accurately record the duration a vehicle is parked within City designated timed parking zones.
The City also uses a fixed-mounted ALPR system that compares license plate numbers to one or more existing databases of vehicles of interest to law enforcement agencies and alerts the officer and dispatchers when a vehicle of interest has been observed. Officers must independently validate that the ALPR system has accurately interpreted the license plate, validate that the license plate matches the vehicle of interest, verify that the alert is valid (e.g. not expired or otherwise deemed invalid), and make an informed decision as to what action to take, if any. The ALPR system refreshes the comparison list every four hours to obtain the most current information. An alert alone does not justify a traffic stop or detention.
The second function serves as an investigative tool for officers and detectives. Since the majority of our investigations are reactive, or after the fact a crime occurs, this tool allows for the investigating officer to check the area of the crime for any potential vehicles that may have been involved, or, having identified a vehicle as being involved, can then use the system to help determine when they have the greatest chance of encountering that vehicle again.