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Cacti On Patrol: Town using cameras in cacti to read car plates

By Brian Booker     May 9, 2015 in Crime
Phoenix - An Arizona town has installed dozens of cameras in fake cacti to read license plates. The town manager claims this is to make the cameras look nice, rather than for secrecy
The City of Paradise Valley, a posh suburb east of Phoenix, has recently installed dozens of license plate readers (LPR) to scan the license plates of passing cars. Such cameras have been becoming more popular as of late, but Paradise Valley took things a step farther than usual.
The city decided to have the cameras installed in fake cacti. Some argue that the city went to such extremes in order to keep the program a secret, but officials state that it was merely to make them more attractive.
What remains even less clear is why the city has bothered to install the cameras at all. So far, city officials claim that the cameras aren't even active due to data retention concerns, but the city police department was caught last Saturday bragging about its first LPR hit.
The hit resulted in a stop, but not an arrest.
Officials have also yet to justify the $2 million dollar price tag of the new security system, and why the city needs such technologies.
Such systems are known for being able to collect extensive amounts of data quickly and efficiently, however.
License plate readers can help police find stolen cars, cars tied to Amber alerts, and people who have warrants out for their arrest.
Paradise Valley also has similar technologies installed on its traffic lights, allowing police to remotely monitor traffic.
More about Arizona, traffic cameras, police monitoring
 
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