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Lighthouse Point real time license plate recognition

The police department will be installing a new real time license plate recognition in 2009. The purchase was made possible with recent Federal Forfeiture Funds received.

Prior related posts include Lighthouse Pt shares in DEA confiscated funds and LIGHTHOUSE POINT POLICE RECEIVES MILLIONS

City link meeting notes- special Lighthouse Point meeting on road closures and crime

related links- not necessarily related to any specific system our city will be installing
License Plate Recognition – A Tutorial
Police vehicle mounted system – youtube video from a Florida cop

What do you think of license plate capture for every car in & out of LHP?

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As a result of partnering with the DEA, the City of Lighthouse Point has received $2.6 million from Federal Forfiture funds- money from a money laundering case- according to the Sept 24 city commission meeting minutes. The money can only be used for specific police department purposes.

Purchases planned or completed:
Ticketing software for patrol cars, radar guns, handguns and accessories; a system to download businesses’ surveillance videos after robberies, overtime for training and ongoing investigations. A digital fingerprinting machine; traffic counter; camcorders; a golf cart for covert patrols; ballistic helmets, and treadmills.

RELATED NOTES: The following comment was made at a special meeting held regarding the closure of NE 34 CT. The subject was brought up and it was said there would be further discussion at a later date. The city may also buy an 18-camera license plate recognition system that is hooked up to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. “On a real-time basis, every license plate that comes into or exits the city will be captured and checked to see if it’s wanted, stolen or suspicious,” Lighthouse Point Mayor Fred Schorr said.

UPDATE: It has since been reported in local media that the license plate recognition equipment purchase has been made.

Lighthouse Pt shares in DEA confiscated funds

Lighthouse Point police upgrade with millions from DEA per a story in the Sun Sentinel today.

Here’s what people are saying about the money and LHP plans for it.

Here’s what I said in response:
a) the chamber person was probably asked because they wanted to talk to a resident and it was an easy way to find someone.
b) If you’re not from here, you have no concept of the issues. There are wealthy people and there are people getting by because of the assistance of others.

Why is LHP asked to assist the DEA? Probably because when you enter HIllsboro Inlet you smack right into LHP. We’ve had issues with illegal aliens jumping off boats onto shore, and running down our streets. Plus the ocean access has always made the area attractive to the ‘rougher elements’, hence the reason it was a favorite hangout during prohibition.

The reality is, our police earned it and the government directs how it should be spent. As to the ‘camera at every entrance and exit’, this was brought up in a special meeting. Frankly I think it’s too big brotherish to me. I think there should be a lot more discussion before residents are subjected to this.

The American Civil Liberties Union argues against cities using surveillance cameras. Attorneys for the organization say … the license plate scanning technology infringes on drivers’ civil rights.

And further…what’s not discussed on topix? The Sun Sentinel article said there were 359 incidents in the last year- that’s total, all crimes. We know that most of them occur along US1 in the commercial district.

Our Police budget is roughly $4,000,000. That’s roughly a cost of $10,000 per incident. I don’t have any idea if the Sun Sentinel article accurately portrays crime here or not. Many residents have asked for crime details over the years, but previously there was no tracking. I’m happy to hear there is some now.

What bothers me is the constant talk about rising crime – UP 18%- without putting it in perspective. Instead of putting fear into residents who live alone, share with us how many break-ins there were.
Statistics that would be really valuable are “how many crimes east of Lighthouse Dr?” . How about a map that shows the city with an overlay of ‘hot zones’ ie an entire area around Dan Witt could be the red zone, the big area near St Paul’s could be another zone- what crimes occurred there? If the crimes were overlayed on a regional map, we could see the real trouble spots and make EDUCATED decisions. Maybe someone in government is now, but we only hear ‘broad comments’ with no specifics.