HCSO acquires electronic license plate readers

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
HENDRY COUNTY — These are two of the new mobile license plate readers that have been acquired by the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office.

HENDRY COUNTY — “We are excited to announce that our agency has acquired two mobile license plate readers (LPRs) at no cost to Hendry County residents,” the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday, May 8. “Over $81,000 worth of grant funds were awarded to Hendry County Sheriff’s Office from the Florida Sheriffs Association to make this much-needed purchase.”

Use of automated license plate recognition technology has increased over the past few years, improving the ability to track where a vehicle has been in the past, or if a vehicle was present at the scene of a crime. These LPR units can be used to determine whether a vehicle is linked to any crimes. They can also alert law enforcement of drivers that have outstanding fines or other issues. The HCSO plans to utilize the readers “during events that create a high volume of traffic such as festivals and the message board can used to send out emergency alerts.”

“The new LPR’s will be used throughout the county to assist our units in locating and tracking criminals. Thank you to the Florida Sheriffs Association for helping provide our agency with another tool to keep our roads safe!” read a post on the HCSO Facebook page.

These high-speed, computer-controlled cameras are equipped to capture any license plate numbers that pass by, as well as record the location, date and time. The data may include photographs of the vehicle and even the occupants. Data sharing and storage does vary by agency, but data gathered by the system can be shared among other law enforcement agencies. One of the new LPRs was spotted alongside the road in Port LaBelle over Mother’s Day weekend.

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