Monday, June 17, 2024
HomeMorris CountyNew Jersey Allocates $10 Million to Combat Rise in Auto Thefts

New Jersey Allocates $10 Million to Combat Rise in Auto Thefts

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MORRIS COUNTY — Governor Murphy and Attorney General Platkin have announced a significant investment of $10 million in automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technology. The funding, sourced from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) State Fiscal Recovery Fund, aims to tackle the rise in auto thefts and associated violent crime across New Jersey.

The allocated funds will be utilized to acquire and expand high-speed, automated camera systems capable of capturing and storing computer-readable images of license plates. These systems will be integrated into a centralized database accessible to law enforcement agencies, providing them with a valuable tool to combat the escalating rates of motor vehicle thefts.

ALPR technology will be deployed at fixed locations throughout the state and mounted on police vehicles. This strategic placement will enhance law enforcement’s ability to address the increased incidents of motor vehicle thefts, which have been observed in both suburban and urban areas of New Jersey.

Acting Attorney General Platkin emphasized the life-saving potential of deploying automated license plate readers, as stolen vehicles are often used in violent shootings. The implementation of this technology is expected to have a significant impact on reducing crime and enhancing public safety.

A portion of the funding will be allocated to the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) to install cameras along major roadways and highways across the state. The intelligence gathered from these cameras will be shared in real-time with relevant law enforcement partners through the Regional Operations Intelligence Center and Real-Time Crime Centers operated by the NJSP, supporting ongoing investigations.

The remaining funds will be made available to county and local law enforcement agencies, with the condition that they comply with ARP rules and agree to share captured license plate information with the NJSP.

New Jersey has experienced a concerning surge in motor vehicle thefts since the onset of the pandemic, reaching a record high of 14,320 stolen vehicles in 2021. The first quarter of 2022 is on track to exhibit a 53% increase in motor vehicle thefts compared to 2020.

The alarming trend of stolen vehicles being utilized in more violent crimes, particularly shootings, necessitates swift action. The $10 million investment in ALPR technology is crucial to making communities safer, preventing criminal activities such as human trafficking and gunrunning, and enabling law enforcement officers to effectively address the rising tide of motor vehicle thefts throughout the state.

The initiative has received support from Senator Vin Gopal, who recognizes it as an essential component in the collective effort to combat the rise in car thefts, enhance community safety, and mitigate criminal activities. Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, expressed confidence in the investment, highlighting its potential to combat the growing number of motor vehicle thefts and associated violent crimes.

By leveraging license plate recognition technology, New Jersey is taking proactive measures to protect its residents, curb auto thefts, and create a safer environment for all.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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