Speed Reading License Plates
The Police Department is going to try out a new gizmo installed on its cruisers to automatically read motor-vehicle license plates and give officers a quick read-out of whether a plate is on a “hot list.”
The technology, manufactured by ELSAG North America Law Enforcement Systems, is supposed to give officers an advantage in knowing what they may be up against before they get out of the cruisers during a vehicle stop.
ELSAG’s proprietary software searches criminal and motor vehicle databases and alerts an officer to any violations or crimes associated with that plate number.
Let us emphasize, conversely, that if the device is to be utilized as some imaginative minds have projected – to identify delinquent parking ticket recipients – it needs to be deployed in a completely non-discriminatory manner. Let no one be excluded from its watchful eye. Not city employees. Not relatives of the Mayor.
In these matters, egalitarianism is a beautiful thing.