A police department in Nevada is getting a major technological upgrade to a couple of their patrol cars, and they’re hoping it will help them stop criminals; even those from out of state.
The current automatic license plate readers, or ALPR’s, used by Mesquite police are effective, but limited in scope.
“The system we have now is local only,” said Chief Troy Tanner, Mesquite Police Department.
So they’re getting upgraded ALPR’s, that’ll be programmed to read any license plate from across the country. There are also four cameras on each vehicle, along with two cars with the four cameras on them.
“If they’re an Amber Alert victim, we’ll know that victim is in that vehicle with the suspect and also if they’re a wanted fugitive, for whatever kind of crime they committed, that information would come up,” Chief Tanner.
Mesquite is known as a gateway to southern Nevada and southern California.
Blue Line Resolutions, the company giving police the updated technology, says that’s why it’s crucial for any license plate to be able to be read. The technology isn’t just for police cars.
“The other addition to this is adding additional readers throughout the community so that you’re not just reading what’s going on with two cars that are driving around 40 hours a week, but you’re literally reading 24/7, so this technology will not sleep,” Mike Murphy, the president of Blue Line Resolutions said.
The new ALPR’s will also be able to check if someone has car insurance. If they don’t, rivers will be put through a diversion program, which will act as a pathway to get insurance.
The idea is the more people who have it, the lower the rates will be.
Chief Tanner says the biggest benefit will be more officer safety during traffic stops.
“Having information to officers a little bit quicker and getting that information, so we know who’s in our town and to deter crime, to keep those people out of our city and make our city as safe as it can possibly be,” Chief Tanner said.
Police say they expect the new system to be fully operational in the next six months.
The diversion program for uninsured drivers would cost $200. Instead of using tax dollars to pay for future ALPR’s, the technology would be paid for using the money from the diversion program.