RCPD Captain Tim Hegarty told county commissioners Monday the department is scheduled to have a demo vehicle in April that will have a mobile license plate reader. This is a camera mounted on the front of a police vehicle. That vehicle would then drive around town and through parking lots, taking pictures of license plates, notifying officers is a particular vehicle is stolen or not.
“What this system also allows us to do is connect warrants for people with vehicles we know that they own,” Hegarty said. “If the license plate reader hits on a tag that has a warrant attached to it, it will alert us.”
Hegarty admits it’s not inexpensive–in fact costing $10-14 thousand to outfit one vehicle.
“With the increase in stolen vehicles we saw last year, we thought it would be something worth taking a look at,” Hegarty said. “It’s certainly not going to cost us anything to have a vehicle brought here, use it for a couple of weeks and see if it is cost effective for us.”
He adds large cities have used the system quite effectively