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San Jose Police Propose Putting License Plate Readers on Garbage Trucks

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Garbage Truck

San Jose Police have proposed putting license plate readers on garbage trucks to help crack down on crime
Photo: Jeffrey Beall

Police surveillance is hard work, especially when you live in a city as large and as populated as San Jose, California. To help out the men and women in blue, the San Jose government has proposed a new plan—fitting the city’s garbage trucks with license plate readers.

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Because of the city’s size—and a continually shrinking police department—San Jose has seen a growing concern over crime, specifically auto theft. The proposed license plate readers will be a great way for the cops to crack down on stolen vehicles, finding them with ease. After all—who would expect a garbage truck to be working for the police?

The technology uses a camera to scan license plates, highlighting the letters. It then sends these letters to a police database that houses all stolen plates, identifying whether or not the plates scanned are actually stolen. The police can then cross reference the license plate with the truck’s route, making it easier for them to track down the stolen car.

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The only downside to using more license plate readers is the exorbitant cost. In its proposal, the city has budgeted over $68,000 for the endeavor, which will add only two license plate readers to their fleet. That makes the average price for the technology around $34,000.

While many people are worried this new technology will infringe on their privacy, the city has clarified that it using garbage trucks as a vehicle for the license plate readers is no different than using a police cruiser.

News Source: San Jose Mercury News