Police cars scan your license plate like a checker scans groceries

Count this as yet another part of police work that has become automated: Scanning and checking license plates for warrants.

Freehold Township Police Department is now adding another automated license plate reader to the seven it’s already mounted on two police cars, according to Freehold Patch. The readers can alert police officers if a nearby car has been reported stolen, or if the vehicle’s owner has outstanding warrants.

The latest license plate readers can record one plate every second at speeds of up to 100 MPH, according to the manufacturer, ELSAG North America, a law-enforcement systems company based out of North Carolina.

The Freehold Township Committee approved a $22,600 contract with ELSAG Wednesday, paying for it through a New Jersey Department of Transportation Highway Safety Corridors Grant.

In fact, it turns out that funding the readers is also somewhat automatic. Township Administrator Peter Valesi told Patch that all the town’s readers have been paid for through through grants. Indeed, instructions for getting a grant take up a section of ELSAG’s web site.

About Barry Lank

Barry Lank is a former TV and radio writer, and, like most people, was editor of the Courier-Post opinion page in Cherry Hill, at some point. If you look up, you'll realize he's watching you read this.View all posts by Barry Lank