Decatur PD Applies For License Plate Reader

I somehow forgot to mention the coolest agenda item from tonight’s City Commission meeting when I read through the materials.

Toward the end of tonight’s meeting, Chief Booker asked the commission to approve a Police Department application to receive $38,359 in federal stimulus money to purchase an Automated License Plate Reader for a police cruiser.

If accepted, the city would pay only around $2,000 of the $40,000 cost.

The technology “allows for the capture of images of license plates and instantaneously compares them to millions of records to identify vehicles of interest.”  But beyond that, Chief Booker proposed another interesting scenario during the meeting.  To summarize:  if a burglary was reported at someone’s home and the victim reported that they had seen a white van out front earlier that day, DPD could check to see whether the patrol car with the ALPR had been down that street and if so, they could review the video and see if the van in question was there when patrol passed.  Then they’d have a license plate.

Cool huh?

Incidentally, the Mayor thanked Chief Booker at the conclusion of the presentation for DPD’s response during the DHS/Renfroe shutdown.  The Chief was very gracious and promised to pass the word along to his staff.