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$10M grant brings automated LPR technology to PDs across N.J.

Thirty-four departments and law enforcement agencies - at least one in every county - will receive funding to purchase or expand LPR technology

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By Jeff Goldman
nj.com

TRENTON, N.J. — Nearly three dozen police departments and other law enforcement agencies will split a $10 million grant to purchase or expand on their automated license plate recognition technology in a continuing quest to combat auto theft, officials said.

The state Office of the Attorney General made the announcement Friday, saying car theft dropped 16% from September 2022 through March in part due to help automated license plate readers provide police. It wasn’t immediately clear if that dip was compared to six months before it or a different time frame.

The State Police’s Uniform Crime Reporting database hasn’t been updated since early 2021.

The high-speed automated camera networks capture and store computer-readable images of license plates in a centralized data base accessible to law enforcement.

“This information assists law enforcement in identifying, locating, and recovering stolen vehicles; interrupting auto theft networks; and apprehending individuals involved in vehicle theft and other violent crimes,” the attorney general’s office said in its statement

State Police will receive the largest grant — $3,014,329.00 — though at least one agency in all 21 counties received funding.

The American Civil Liberties Union has for years expressed concern about how the information collected by police would be used.

Police have been permitted to manually “run the plates” since a 1998 state Supreme Court ruling in State v. Donis, the attorney general’s office said previously. But those manual searches are much slower than the automatic program, which can scan and check on hundreds of plates per minute, experts say.

ATLANTIC

  • Brigantine: $31,842
  • Galloway: $60,325

BERGEN

  • Bergen County Sheriff’s Office: $400,368
  • Wallington: $86,400

BURLINGTON

  • Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office: $200,000
  • Burlington Township: $60,212
  • Willingboro: $144,000

CAMDEN

  • Camden County Police Department: $220,087

CAPE MAY

  • Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office: $389,527

CUMBERLAND

  • Cumberland County: $402,039

ESSEX

  • Bloomfield: $226,065
  • Newark: $595,000
  • Nutley: $91,666
  • West Orange: $63,513

GLOUCESTER

  • Glassboro: $23,400
  • Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office: $349,856
  • Paulsboro: $87,541

HUDSON

  • Union City: $222,000
  • West New York: $125,380

HUNTERDON

  • County of Hunterdon: $184,200

MERCER

  • Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office: $396,000

MIDDLESEX

  • East Brunswick: $88,777

MONMOUTH

  • Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office: $325,920

MORRIS

  • Chatham: $69,194
  • Long Hill: $72,000
  • Morris County Prosecutor’s Office: $372,000
  • Dover: $48,000

OCEAN

  • County of Ocean: $346,758

PASSAIC

  • Passaic (city): $148,253

SALEM

  • Salem County Prosecutor’s Office: $352,000

SOMERSET

  • Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office: $102,858

SUSSEX

  • Sparta: $68,800

UNION

  • Union County Police Department: $250,500

WARREN

  • Greenwich: $131,190

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