December 17, 2008

NEWS RELEASE - Takoma Park Police to Acquire License Plate Recognition Scanner

City of Takoma Park Police Department
• 7500 Maple Avenue • Takoma Park, Md 20912

For more information contact:
Public Information Officer (PIO)
Catherine Plevy, 301/891.7142 or 240/338.2901

December 17, 2008 (11:15 a.m.)

Chief Ricucci is pleased to announce that the Takoma Park Police Department has been granted funding in FY2009, through the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP), for a “License Plate Recognition Scanner (LETC).”

“LETC is attached to a police cruiser. It works by capturing digital license plate images as they pass a camera, whether mobile or fixed. The plates are automatically cross-checked in real time against multiple local, regional, statewide and, if appropriate, national databases to identify vehicles that are of interest to the authorities. In fact, LETC can access multiple databases simultaneously and report not only matches but which database contained the vehicle of interest. Vehicle matches are reported instantly, allowing the officer to take appropriate action.

Every license plate is compared to a list of “vehicles of interest” associated with auto theft, felony warrants, “Be on the Lookouts,” parking violations, or any other license plate-oriented databases, such as Amber Alerts, National Crime Information Center (NCIC) downloads, etc., the police agency wishes to use. By reviewing historical plate reads, information such as a list of all vehicles recorded in an area of interest during a specific period of time can be created. Patterns of movement can also be obtained, enabling a crime analyst, for example, to provide a possible starting point for finding a suspect vehicle.

Generally, between 50,000 and 60,000 plate reads equal one gigabyte of hard drive space. With storage being relatively inexpensive, tens of millions of plate reads can be maintained on a standard hard drive.

Research has shown that patrol officers equipped with the technology can have arrest rates significantly higher than officers working without it. This will deliver reductions in crime, enhanced community safety and safer roads.”

Chief Ricucci sees this as another tool in reducing crime in our community. "We are very pleased to be adding this new equipment to the department."

Posted by Plevy at December 17, 2008 11:14 AM
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