Automated License Plate Readers question

Blackink

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I'm not sure if there is such a thing as an Automated License Plate reader.....

I watch Live PD every once in a while and sometimes they get a hit on a stolen car by the license plate. What I don't know is do the police have to enter a suspicious vehicles license plate number manually to find out if it's a stolen vehicle or do they have automated license plate readers in their cars so when it reads a license plate and the DMV database has it listed as a stolen vehicle, it comes back as such??

Thanks, Steve
 

RDGDigital

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This video offers a good explanation of how they work. In short, it's completely automatic and the police officer doesn't have to enter anything.
 

scanmanmi

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Many toll roads (and a new bridge by me) have no human booths anymore, just readers. So they are reliable and are here to stay. I recently got a red light ticket in Chicago and the letter said the offending incident video had been reviewed by a human. My question about the cops is it would seem like the entire license database must be in the police car's computer. There's no way to scan, read, transmit, check, and receive 1000 plates/ minute. You have no right to photographic privacy when in public so a license plate is no different.
 

needairtime

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They use automated license plate readers around here to enforce parking. The old "Meter Maid" is now a Nissan Leaf with a plate reader that rolls around all the parking spots to make sure you don't overstay your 2 hour limit ...

... which I don't get, if you *move* your car within that 2 hour limit, you can still get tagged for a parking violation whereas the old chalking method would be fine. Sigh...

(BTW I think the chalking method was struck down by someone complaining about them touching their cars and winning a lawsuit against the city, now we get something worse. You get what you ask for...)
 

rescue161

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BOLO, stolen tags, etc.

A hot list is downloaded to the LSAG system in the patrol vehicle. If a camera happens to see a tag that's on that list, the computer screen lights up and an alarm goes off with a picture of the car that is displaying the tag in question. Then the cop can immediately look around for the vehicle matching the one that the camera just took.
 

needairtime

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What about suspects? Do you have to be convicted before they can use this?
There is a lot of gray area. If you only want to use it for criminals, ideally they're already behind bars and not on the streets. If they're just a suspect, do they deserve privacy?
 

rescue161

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I have no dog in the fight other than I used to install them in patrol cars and on stationary objects. I like the idea that they can usually ID a wanted car well before the officer even knows what happened. Typically the hot lists are for stolen tags/vehicles, Amber alerts, wanted persons (car registered to the wanted individual) or cars that were otherwise involved in some sort of crime. If you think that all criminals are already in jail, then you are sorely mistaken.
 

Blackink

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What about suspects? Do you have to be convicted before they can use this?
There is a lot of gray area. If you only want to use it for criminals, ideally they're already behind bars and not on the streets. If they're just a suspect, do they deserve privacy?
I don't think suspects are included in the hot list that is downloaded to the LSAG system. If I'm not mistaken, from what rescue161 mentions, it's just license plates that get downloaded.

Correct me if I'm wrong....

EDIT: It seems I am wrong, as soon as I posted my message, rescue161 had posted a message clearly mentioning tags that are owned by wanted persons are included in the download.
 

rescue161

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Well, that can vary by agency. Ours were Federal, so take what I mentioned above with a grain of salt.
 

a417

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What about suspects? Do you have to be convicted before they can use this?
No, they're tracking an asset in violation - ie; vehicle plates. If the plate is lost/stolen/expired that's what pops up. If you're a scumbag driving around with stolen tags...well... enjoy county.
There is a lot of gray area.
I disagree. If the plates are legal and in good standing, the system will ignore you. If you've hacked up 56 meth crazed junkies and wood chippered them into your back pond, but your plates are clean and legal...this isn't gonna flag on you.


If you only want to use it for criminals, ideally they're already behind bars and not on the streets. If they're just a suspect, do they deserve privacy?
Automated plate readers are designed to take the minutiae out of patrolling, and allowing an appropriate utilization of manpower. Otherwise LEOs would be sitting in their cars looking up EVERY plate they drove by. How effective at manpower utilization is that? This is faster, automated and scalar. Mark 1 Mod 0 eyeballs can only go so fast.
 
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