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Bell Gardens to Buy License Plate Readers to Aid Police

The Bell Gardens City Council has approved a request from the police department to purchase permanent license plate readers to assist them in solving crimes.

Six permanent license plate readers will be installed at the intersections of Garfield and Eastern and at Eastern and Watcher, where they will read the license plates of cars driving through the intersections.

Bell Gardens Police Department’s Traffic Sgt. Efren Aguirre told EGP the license plate readers will help police track cars coming in and out of the city.

The readers automatically search the DMV’s computer system as a car drives by to determine if the vehicle has been reported involved in a crime. The readers will send a photograph of each vehicle and the accompanying information to a dispatch center for review.

The purpose is to recognize any type of vehicle involved in a crime, spot stolen cars, wanted vehicles, or cars being investigated, said Aguirre.

The city council voted during the Feb. 11 meeting to waive the formal bid process and authorized the police department to purchase six fixed automatic license plate readers from PIPS Technologies using funds from a $100,000 grant the city received from the Homeland Security Grant Funding Program in August 2012.

According to Aguirre, the project must first be approved by the County, but he anticipates the license plate readers will be in place within two months.

The Bell Gardens Police Department currently has two mobile license plate readers affixed to police cars.