Vidor law enforcement expanding License-Plate Reader program

Published 9:02 am Saturday, January 27, 2018

By Larry Holt

The Orange Leader

During regular session held Thursday evening, Vidor City Council unanimously approved the purchase of an additional License-Plate Reader (LPR) for use in a second police vehicle.

“Each LPR system costs somewhere between eleven thousand and thirteen thousand dollars,” Police Chief Rod Carroll said. “What these digital units do digitally compared to the old fashioned method of having an officer go door-to-door searching for individuals with outstanding warrants, the unit pays for itself in no time.”

In addition, a patrol vehicle equipped with a license-plate reader and operated by a trained officer can make four to five traffic stops each shift.  Not all traffic stops result in a citation or arrest, however all information the reader collects, where ever and whenever it collects it can be stored and shared with other law enforcement agencies.

License plate readers are used either stationary or on a patrol car patrolling the street, or parking lots.  When the reader has scanned a license plate that is associated with an outstanding warrant, or reported stolen, the unit emits a specific audible signal, alerting the police officer to take further action.

Law enforcement agencies equipped with license-plate readers share collected data, even across state lines in pursuit of drug traffickers, individuals with outstanding warrants, stolen vehicles, or other activities of interest.

“No longer does an officer have to take a stack of warrants and go door-to-door in the hopes of tracking someone down,” Carroll said.

“Work smarter, not harder.”

In other business, City Manager Mike Kunst discussed with the city council the need to amend the ordinance specific to commercial trucks entering and exiting the new WalMart store set to open March 14, 2018.  Projected increased commercial truck traffic will be prohibited from traveling past the junior high school and other side streets.  New signage in the area is being deployed in an effort to direct traffic into and out of the area.