what is this?

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OCO

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I'd guess its a remote radar unit, set up for the unit being parked perpendicular to the roadway.....
(or a new generation flux capacitor) .....
 

fxdscon

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Looks like an ALPR system.

Automatic License Plate Recognition.
 

n0vza

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If I am correct, it is a LPR (License Plate Reader) device. LPR devices can "read" all of the license plates they "see". The data read is checked against a local database in the squad car (which is typically updates on at least a daily basis.

In addition to reading plates and checking a list, normally GPS data is incorporated in the system - to record the location where the license plate was seen..

This type of system is in use in the Minnepolis/Saint Paul metro area.

You may want to check Wikipeda for Automatic License Plate recognition at Automatic number plate recognition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

fxdscon

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For cruising parking lots......... I wonder if there is another unit on the front of the car?

Sometimes, yes.

Sometimes on the ends of the roof light bar.

Sometimes 1 on each of the 4 corners of the trunk or the roof.
 

OCO

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And if you do much reading on ALPR, you'll start getting that creepy feeling that "they" know where you've been and where you are now....(get out the tin foil hats).
 

k4sgt

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Without doubt, this is most definitely an ALPR system. I have seen a couple different models come through our shop. Big brother is watching you.
 

cdknapp

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Yep, it's a license plate reader. Some mount them on the top of the car, but most are mounted on the rear quater panels.
They are used mainly for id'ing stolen and wanted vehicles; kind of replaced the old "hot sheet"
 

b7spectra

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Sandy Springs Police have a car that has 4 of them on it! Each corner of the roof has one! It is usually sitting in the middle of Roswell Road just catching tags!
 

W8RMH

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I have seen these on unmarked private vehicles too. I think they are repo guys.
 
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