June 21, 2012

Sarasota Police Department Uses Technology from NDI Recognition Systems to Improve Officer Safety

Officer John Lake of Sarasota Police Department believes that more information in the hands of officers making traffic stops will result in lives saved. Read how he is using Automated License Plate Recognition Technology from NDI Recognition Systems to warn officers of potentially dangerous situations.

Longwood, Florida (PRWEB) June 21, 2012

NDI Recognition Systems (NDI), a worldwide leader in automated license plate / number plate recognition (ALPR / ANPR) solutions for law enforcement, announces today that Sarasota Police Department is using its ALPR / ANPR technology to locate vehicles of interest, solve crimes, and greatly improve officer safety.

Officer John Lake first acquired the NDI´s license plate recognition technology in October 2008, installing a single four-camera mobile system on his 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe. “We began using the system simply as a way to more efficiently identify and recover stolen vehicles, but we realized that its potential was much greater than that,” states Officer Lake. Working with the State of Florida´s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), Officer Lake led the effort to create a file of expired tags and tags associated with suspended drivers licenses. Officer Lake comments, “In Sarasota and Manatee Counties alone, there are around 20,000 of these vehicles, and there are over 2.5 million throughout Florida. These vehicles represent a threat to other drivers on the roadways as many are uninsured, and they also are a significant source of lost revenue to the State.” This file was made available from the State in April 2010, and the results were immediate. Officer Lake issued 1,012 citations and made 118 felony arrests during 2010, contrasted with 267 citations and 24 felony arrests in 2009.

Officer Lake is now dedicated to creating a file linking license plates to wanted persons. “It seems common sense, but the systems and processes in place today simply do not provide this type of information — this is common throughout the U.S. This is a significant officer safety issue that I am dedicated to address here in Sarasota and in Florida, and I am hopeful that other agencies around the country will emulate. If an officer approaches a vehicle for a routine traffic violation, he / she should be informed before approaching the vehicle if the registered owner has an outstanding warrant for a violent crime.” The idea came from a traffic stop that Officer Lake made on a man with two outstanding warrants from two different counties over nine years old. “The gentleman reported to me that he had been stopped four times in the recent past, and none of the officers making the stops had noticed the outstanding warrants. This is due to disparate and disconnected systems. Lucky for those officers and their families, this gentleman´s warrants were minor in nature.”

Lake has implemented this system in Sarasota by modifying their Probable Cause Affidavit to record plate information on vehicles owned by suspect individuals. If a warrant is issued, the information from this form is then entered into their system, and can be made available for their ALPR system from NDI. “I am now working with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to make this information available statewide. I can think of a couple of cases where information such as this could have saved an officer´s life; and I am confident that this effort will save many more.”

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2012/6/prweb9625470.htm