A license plate recognition (LPR / ANPR) program that will help local law enforcement track motor vehicles used in crimes will be implemented by the city of Sparks after the City Council on Monday approved a $61,585 federal grant for the plan.

    This is a regional effort between the Sparks and Reno police departments and the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. The city of Sparks will act as the fiscal agent for the grant.

    “What it really comes down to is that it’s a great investigative tool,” said Sparks Deputy Police Chief Brian Allen. “With the data collected, we can use that to solve crimes.”

    The grant will pay for travel for officer training to use the hardware, supplies for operation and equipment.

    The council also approved more than $10,000 in drug forfeiture funds from the city to enhance the system.

    The system will allow law enforcement agencies to locate vehicles suspected of being involved in criminal activity.

    The local system can connect to a nationwide database to help locate vehicles involved in local crime that leave for other regions.

    A patrol vehicle in each local jurisdiction will be outfitted with the scanning hardware.

    The use of the technology as an investigative tool has increased in recent years, city staff said.

    Vigilant Solutions is the only license plate recognition company to offer the National Law Enforcement Sharing Program in the region. This technology is essential in taking a regional approach to such data and technology while still allowing individual agency control over implementation.

    Download a PDF of this Story

    Original link: http://www.rgj.com/article/20121123/NEIGHBORHOODS04/311230018/Sparks-use-new-license-recognition-technology