Monday evening, Sept. 21, members of the Oakdale City Council accepted a resolution that puts into play some serious high-tech, crime-fighting tools to give officers an additional edge when looking for criminal activity on the roads.
The Oakdale Police Department was approved for approximately $70,000 in grant-funded Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) equipment from the Department of Homeland Security via the Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services and it’s time to put those dollars to use.
To complete the acquisition and receive the equipment for installation, the police department is required to enter into an Agreement with Vigilant Solutions, LLC, to provide secure software access and technical support for a one-year renewable term.
The cost of the first year of service is included in the grant funded purchase of the equipment. Following year one, the police department would be required to renew the service agreement to maintain licensing, technical support, and operational capabilities of the license plate reader systems.
Vigilant has agreed to provide an ALPR technology system that includes an Intelligence Led Policing Package to outfit two police cars with four LPR cameras each, and outfit one messaging/radar trailer with two LPR cameras and all supporting hardware and software along with a five-year warranty at a total cost of $69,656.44. The LPR package includes a total of 10 cameras.
According to city documents, ALPR technology is utilized to capture and store digital license plate data and images while recognizing established privacy rights of the public. ALPR technology allows for the automated detection of license plates. It is used to convert data associated with vehicle license plates for official law enforcement purposes, including identifying stolen or wanted vehicles, stolen license plate and missing persons. It may also be used to gather information related to active warrants, homeland security, electronic surveillance, suspect interdiction and stolen property recovery.
While ALPR has been primarily used to combat auto theft in the past, more recent applications of ALPR technology include enhancing the safety of public events and providing a powerful investigative tool to address all crime matters in the community. ALPR technology serves as a force multiplier as the automated system can scan, recognize, and capture license plate data many times faster than the human eye of a police officer.
In a conventional police patrol setting, a police officer on patrol in public can check license plates for stolen vehicles, wanted persons, etc. a plate at a time. As the officer sees the plate in public they check or log the plate and location. With ALPR technology, a police car is equipped with ALPR cameras that can simultaneously scan in various directions and check for any wants and log data for potential future lawful investigative purposes. Again, the main benefit of ALPR’s is the speed of which they can augment the individual police officer’s efforts.
Vigilant Solutions, LLC was chosen as the provider of ALPR technology due to the exclusive patents Vigilant currently holds that are instrumental for law enforcement to connect the dots between vehicles and crime.
Currently, the Oakdale Police Department is aiming to utilize this technology to aid in investigations and locating wanted persons associated with vehicles that may have committed crimes in Oakdale or other jurisdictions which helps with their investigations by providing possible leads and locations of persons wanted for serious crimes.