Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) technology offers many promising applications for officers engaging in surveillance or seeking wanted suspects. Examples are automatically reading vehicle plates and matching them against wanted lists, or conducting surveillance in nearly any lighting condition and setting.

One system on the market is the Mobile Plate Hunter 9000, offered by Remington Elsag Law Enforcement Systems, which is able to work at patrol and highway speeds and is used by agencies including the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the New York State Police.

A newer system is the Automatic License Plate Reader, made by Motorola using the Police ALPR Graphic Interface System (PAGIS) developed by England's PIPS Technology.

This system combines the camera and the infrared illumination device into a single unit, with an adjustable narrow band filter to enable quality image capture in even very bad environmental and lighting conditions. As many as four camera/illuminators can be combined in a multiplex or "Muxed" mode.

Although it currently costs about $20,000 for each mobile installation of these systems, the price is likely to decline as more are put into use, and stationary versions of the technology are available from both vendors as well as other companies.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from Police and Security News (04/06) Vol. 22, No. 2, P. 24; Siuru, Bill .