Posted on Aug 24, 2017
Carlsbad Police Capt. Mickey Williams was born in Carlsbad and has been with the Carlsbad Police Department for 22 years. He graduated from San Diego State in 1994, with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration, and a Master’s in Police Science.
Capt. Williams spoke on vehicle License Plate Readers. This is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates. It can use existing closed-circuit television, road-rule enforcement cameras, or cameras specifically designed for the task.
The technology can be used to store the images captured by cameras as well as the text from the license plate, with some configurable to store a photograph of the driver. Systems commonly use infrared lighting to allow the camera to take the picture at any time of the day. The technology takes into account plate variations.
LPR is used by police forces around the world for law enforcement purposes, including checking if a vehicle is registered or licensed, or stolen. It is also used as a method of tracking traffic movements, and sometimes recognizes drivers as wanted criminals, or passengers as missing persons.
Concerns about these systems have centered on privacy fears of government-tracking citizens' movements, misidentification, and high error rates. Critics have described it as a form of mass surveillance. The data is shared only with valid law enforcement agencies
Carlsbad Police Department currently has 8 LPR systems and 51 fixed-location systems are being installed.  The presentation was followed by an active Q&A session. No flash occurs – uses just ambient lighting; the license plate may be from a different state; works on motorcycle-plates.
On behalf of Carlsbad Rotary, Russ Hanthorn thanked Capt. Mickey Williams for his dedicated service to Carlsbad.
Web link: Automated License Plate Recognition: