Law enforcement agencies conducting security at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. are using PlateSmart license plate recognition (LPR) software for surveillance at the convention site.
Police departments’ license plate databases will now be able to quickly and accurately identify any vehicles of concern, says Cyclops Technologies Inc., PlateSmart’s manufacturer. Police will also be able to enter new plates into PlateSmart’s onboard “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) database, so that if such license plates are spotted by the system, the vehicles with those license plates will be rapidly identified, the company says.
PlateSmart was chosen by the law enforcement agencies primarily because of its ability to remain totally covert, according to Cyclops Technologies. Older LPR systems are dependent upon bulky and expensive specialty hardware to function, including obvious and awkward-looking cameras that must be mounted on the exterior of a police vehicle, the company says.
However, PlateSmart is a self-contained software suite that is compatible with any Windows-based PC, and the in-car video cameras many law enforcement agencies are already using. As a result, it will be impossible to tell which security officers at the RNC are using the technology, Cyclops Technologies says. For an event expected to draw attendees, and protestors numbering in the thousands, the advantage for security forces is incalculable, the company adds.