NJs $1.4 Million Investment in Automated License Plate Reader Technology

Partnership between NJ Attorney General, DCA, and CRDA aims to curb auto theft and crime through advanced surveillance technology.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin has unveiled a strategic initiative to bolster public safety in Atlantic City with a $1.4 million investment in Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology. This initiative is a collaborative effort involving the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), and the New Jersey State Police (NJSP), aiming to enhance the capabilities of law enforcement in identifying and recovering stolen vehicles, disrupting auto theft rings, and aiding in broader crime prevention measures.

The funding, comprising over $1.1 million from DCA and more than $273,000 from CRDA, will support the purchase and installation of 120 ALPR units across strategic locations in Atlantic City. These high-speed camera networks are designed to capture and process license plate data, storing it in a centralized database for law enforcement use. This system facilitates the rapid identification and tracking of vehicles associated with criminal activities, missing persons cases, and Amber and Silver alerts, among other applications.

Scheduled to commence in May 2023, with the technology roll-out over the ensuing months, this project represents a significant step forward in leveraging advanced surveillance tools to ensure the safety and security of Atlantic City residents and its visitors. The real-time data collected by the ALPR units will be integrated with the NJSP's Regional Operations Intelligence Center and Real-Time Crime Centers, enhancing coordination and information sharing among law enforcement agencies.

Attorney General Platkin emphasized the critical role of ALPR technology in the state's crime-fighting arsenal, highlighting its potential to significantly improve law enforcement's effectiveness in responding to and solving crimes. This sentiment was echoed by DCA Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez and NJSP Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, who noted the technology's proven track record in enhancing public safety through improved data sharing and operational efficiency.

The initiative also received strong support from local officials, including Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, Sr., who praised the deployment of ALPR technology as a transformative development for the city, aligning with its objectives to become not only safer but a smarter city. Similarly, Atlantic City Police Department Chief of Police James Sarkos welcomed the additional resources, underscoring their anticipated positive impact on public safety efforts in the area.

This investment in ALPR technology is part of a broader state-wide effort to adopt modern surveillance tools in the fight against crime, with Attorney General Platkin previously announcing significant grant funding for ALPR systems across New Jersey. Governed by Attorney General Directive 2022-12, this technology, while instrumental in enhancing law enforcement capabilities, is subject to stringent policies ensuring responsible use and privacy protection, marking a new chapter in New Jersey's commitment to public safety and technological innovation in crime prevention.

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