New GRPD Plate Readers Means More Eyes on the Road

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– It’s technology that is changing the way Grand Rapids police patrol the streets. Today, GRPD unveiled their automatic license plate recognition systems.

Right now, when a Grand Rapids police officer runs a license plate, they spot the one that they want to run. Then, the officer manually types it into their laptop. The driver’s information comes up on the screen.

This new technology will eliminate the need to spot any particular vehicle, and it’ll speed up that process. Three cameras are mounted on top of four patrol cars, keeping an eye on vehicles. As officers drive around, the cameras will automatically scan license plates and compares them to known databases, notifying the officer of a match immediately.

The department said ALPR technology will improve officer efficiency, safety, increase the recovery of stolen vehicles, as well as increase the warrant arrests.

“I often wonder many times in my career, ‘gosh, I wonder if I just drove right by the [suspect],” said Sergent Allen Noles, referring to times when he responds to calls where a suspect has fled the scene. “Now, I’ll know.”

Right now, officers are able to run about 50 to 100 plates per shift. With the cameras, will be able to scan close to 5,000 plates a shift.

The city approved spending just over $104,000 to buy the cameras for four patrol cars. The department said they will likely recoup 114,000 in the first year, largely through those unpaid tickets and fines.

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  • Reloader

    Just what we need, more BIG BROTHER, That said, it will be a good tool for law enforcement and probably make our streets safer if it is used properly!

  • guest

    Oh my god this is absolutely ridiculous. The fucking cops are spending so much money on this bullshit to arrest nonviolent people for not paying their speeding tickets and take them to jail!?!?! WE HAVE UNSOLVED MURDERS IN THIS COUNTY. TRY AND FOCUS ON THAT YOU MOTHERFUCKERS. Pretty soon wherever we go they will have cameras that can scan our irises and send the information back to the police so they will always know where everyone is at all times. Screw civil liberties! Screw freedom! We want your money!

  • guest

    The police in this country are getting to be so much more like the gestapo and the NKVD. They already have no problem stomping people to death.

  • willie wonka

    Perinoid much? The cops already run your license plate ding bat. Your license plate which is used to identify your vehicle, incase its stolen or you commit a crime. So if you want to argue that we do away with license plates as a whole I'll listen but to say that cops can run your plates just not in a way that is effcient then thats is rediculous. This technology can be used to look for a vehicle for an amber alert, a vehicle seen leaving the scene of a murder, the possibilities are endless. Everyone hates on the cops until they need them. They are already understaffed and underfunded, I say give them what they need to do their jobs effectively and efficently to help keep the rest of us safe. As long as you don't have SIX unpaid parking tickets, are in posession of a stolen vehicle, seen speeding away from a murder scene or suspected of kidnapping a child you really don't have anything to be concerned about. You people are a great form of entertainment to read your rantings but appear to be a few fries short of a happy meal. I applaud you GRPD, keep up the good work and thank you for what you do!!!

  • willie wonka

    Oh, and I also like the idea that since there are unsolved murders in the county that the cops shouldn't stop enforcing any and all laws and put their entire force on them until they are solved. Sell crack, its cool if there is an unsolved murder case, drive 100mph through a school zone, open murder case, youre ok. Steal a car….. open murder case, you can keep it until we get it solved, then were gonna come after you. Reading some of the things on here makes it clear why we as a society are in the shape we are in. Pathetic……