Vigilant Solutions announces today that the Whitehall Police Department in Ohio is using Vigilant Solutions’ commercial license plate reader data, and it has resulted in a number of successes in only the first couple of months of use.

Sergeant John Grebb explains, “Detective Bureau Secretary Kellie McKinley and another Detective attended a meeting in Franklin County as they were in the process of deploying Vigilant Solutions. In this meeting, they learned of the commercial license plate reader data that is available from Vigilant, and the LEARN analytic tools to make use of this data as well as other data captured by law enforcement deployed license plate reader (LPR) systems – whether they be from Vigilant or another vendor. As a result of the meeting, we began a trial of the LEARN system and the commercial LPR data.”

“During the trial period, we had a notable success. Around 8 months prior to the trial of the Vigilant system, a vehicle was stolen and used in a felony assault in which a female was shot multiple times with an AK-47. The victim survived, however the injuries will impact the rest of her life. After obtaining access to the system, we began looking back at cases involving vehicles and noticed that there were multiple detections of the stolen vehicle used in this felony assault. Using this historical LPR data collected by commercial operators of LPR systems and made available through Vigilant’s system, we were able to locate the vehicle. While the vehicle was unoccupied and had been abandoned for several months, the location of the vehicle proved to be a turning point in the case and provided significant evidence.

Note: this image is unrelated to the case referenced in this story
Note: this image is unrelated to the case referenced in this story

“This case really highlighted to our agency the importance of having this commercial data available for investigative use. While we have two LPR systems of our own, this historical, commercial license plate reader data is much more substantial than anything that we would have gathered using our own systems or by looking at LPR data gathered by other neighboring agencies with LPR systems. We used this case to highlight to our command staff how this data really becomes a force multiplier and effectively puts many more LPR systems to work for us, without the expense or administrative burden of acquiring and deploying our own network of LPR systems. The access to this data gave us insights that we would not have had otherwise, and saved us many man-hours of locating this vehicle and bringing justice to these individuals. It was shortly after this that we decided to move forward with Vigilant and we have already solved another case involving a stolen vehicle in only about a month of having the subscription.”

Brian Shockley, Vice President of Marketing for Vigilant Solutions, comments, “We put an incredible amount of resources into helping educate legislators, the public, and our customers on how historical LPR data is anonymous in nature and how it may only be connected to registered owners – in another system – under permissible purposes defined and authorized by the Federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). This commercial LPR data can prove extremely valuable to law enforcement for investigations asSergeant Grebb tells us in this case. Thanks to Whitehall for using all available resources to bring these individuals to justice and for helping to tell the real story about the value of historical, commercial license plate reader data. Stories like this are the best way to help people understand the good that this technology and data bring to society.”

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