Cornwall cops will soon be able to scan licence plates

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A Cornwall police cruiser.

Cornwall police will soon have another asset that can be used to idetinfy stolen vehicles and licence plates.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has provided the police department with $92,000 to equip three of its cruisers with Automatic Licence Plate Readers (ALPR).

The readers can scan plates automatically, with the help of onboard computers that installed in police cruisers. The technology allows officers to keep themselves more focused on the road while driving.

“The Cornwall Community Police Service will soon be adding to its arsenal of crime-fighting equipment, a much needed enhancement, which will better serve our community with the best technology available”, said MPP Jim McDonell.  

ALPR technology was first introduced in 1976 at the Police Scientific Development Branch in the United Kingdom. Since then, and for quite some time, the Canadian Border Services Agency has been using a stationary ALPR application at border crossings.  The RCMP was the first Canadian police service to deploy mobile ALPR systems in western Canada in 2006.  The technology is currently in use by several police services in Ontario, including OPP, Toronto and Sudbury.

Through the use of high resolution infrared cameras, digital reading technology, vehicle licence plates are read and compared against police databases and the Ministry of Transportation computer system to detect violators, offenders, or stolen vehicles. The system automatically alerts the officer when a match to the database is encountered. 

“The ALPR system is expected to improve on the Cornwall Community Police Service's effectiveness in identifying stolen vehicles and plates, expired plates and suspended drivers”, said chief Dan Parkinson. 

The Cornwall cruisers are expected to be outfitted with the new system next month.

The system can be operated at any time of the day and in all weather conditions. It is capable of reading Canadian and International plates. Other features include the capture of up to 5,000 plates per minute, up to a differential speed of 320 km/h hour and across three lanes of traffic.  The system is expected to be fully operational by February 2013.

Organizations: Cornwall Community Police Service, Correctional Services, Police Scientific Development Branch Canadian Border Services Agency RCMP Ministry of Transportation

Geographic location: Cornwall, United Kingdom, Canada Ontario OPP Toronto Sudbury

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