Piedmont, Calif. Police Chief Rikki Goede thinks automatic license plate readers (LPRs) mounted at the 30 roads leading into and out of the city might help address the 50 percent increase in burglaries between 2011 and 2012, according to a report in ArsTechnica. Surrounded by Oakland, the affluent community of 11,000, less than two square miles in area, is largely residential.
LPRs can scan and read up to 60 license plates per second, then compare the plate numbers to lists of criminal suspects, and wanted or stolen cars. Priced at about $14,000 each, the use of LPRs by law enforcement agencies around the country has risen steadily over the past few years. Piedmont is currently waiting for a vendor proposal before presenting the LPR idea to city officials for approval.
"I think there's a good chance we will do it to some level," Goede said. "It's an investigative tool being used as a force-multiplier."
According to ArsTechnica, Piedmont would be the third U.S. city to deploy the technology at its borders. Nearby Tiburon, Calif., installed LPRs three years ago, while Sugar Land, Texas, approved the technology at its city limits in November 2012.
Photo courtesy of PIPS Technology