The New York City Police Department started with 12 license plate readers (LPRs) in 2006. Today, the NYPD has more than 100, including stationary units that collect license plate data and feed it to the department’s anti terrorism post.
An increasing number of police departments utilize high-tech license plate readers to keep an electronic eye on drivers and intitiate more traffice tickets. Every time the LPR beeps it means that a license plate has been scanned and checked against a database on the laptop computer. In a short ten-minute period, 400 license plates can be examined.
“We get suspended registrations, stolen vehicles, warrants,” Officer Eric Lederer said. An officer’s patrol is more effective with the LPR, claims Lederer. “We’ll call a tow truck and have the car impounded,” Officer Lederer said.
Greenburgh Police Department’s Patrol Captain says that LPRs have tremendous crime-fighting and anti-terror potential. “If there’s a problem in the area, we can go back the next day, few hours later and see what cars were in the area. If there’s a particular car we’re looking for we can verify if it was in the area or not,” Capt. Glenn Bryan said.
Not surprisingly, some citizens raise invasion of privacy objections to the use of such cameras.
Regardless, area police departments plan to expand their network of electronic eyes on the road.
Many departments are using homeland security grant money to purchase license plate readers. A unit on a patrol car can cost $15,000.
Rosenblum Law Firm has been traffic tickets for years — whether they come from radar guns, license plate readers or an officer. Please call us today.