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Holmdel officials invest in automated license plate reader technology

HOLMDEL — The members of the Township Committee have announced an investment in technology that is aimed at reducing the number of attempted car thefts in the
Holmdel area.

According to a press release from the township, automated license plate readers (ALPRs) are cameras that automatically scan and read the license plates of passing cars. These devices have the potential to scan millions of license plates each year, according to the press release.

The ALPRs will help the Holmdel Police Department solve crimes more quickly by checking a vehicle’s plate, make, model and color against a national database to find out if the vehicle has been reported stolen, is associated with a missing person, or is wanted as evidence in an investigation, according to the press release.

“The Township Committee is committed to reducing vehicle theft and attempted vehicle theft within our community,” Mayor Greg Buontempo said. “We will continue to equip the police department with the resources and technology they need to prevent and to respond to crime in Holmdel. This is the first of many investments we are making to protect our residents.”

Police Chief Frank Allocco elaborated on the technology, saying, “We already have two ALPR devices mounted on police vehicles which have been very helpful. Our goal is to install stationary plate readers in strategic locations around town so if a stolen car drives through the township, the police department will be tipped off and we can direct our officers to a specific location.”

Police Capt. Jeffrey Ackerson added, “The police department has used vehicle-mounted ALPRs for 10 years. While these devices have been successful, the downside is that they are constantly moving. Installing fixed-mounted ALPRs will allow the police department to triangulate a more precise area to search for any stolen vehicles in the township.”

The Holmdel Police Department is continuing to encourage residents to lock their vehicle doors, bring vehicle key fobs into the house with them and report any suspicious behavior to the department as soon as possible, according to the press release.

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