URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — “The increase of violence that we’ve been seeing around the community was a big factor in this decision,” Patrick Wade, University of Illinois Police spokesperson, said.
That’s why one department decided to put up new license plate readers to address the violence. Automatic license plate readers have been a big topic of conversation throughout Central Illinois. The University of Illinois Police Department just added two new ALPR’s to campus.
That’s right they added two on campus and plan to add three more. They’re putting them on high-traffic areas so they can hopefully catch the most crime.
“License plate readers fill some of that gap for us where we can’t fill it with human resources like police officers,” Wade said.
Champaign County leaders have had several conversations about automatic license plate readers. The University of Illinois Police Department put up two new readers on campus and are planning to add three more.
“Our police officers, our security guards, our student patrol officers, are dedicated to campus safety, they’ve been doing a very good job with the proactive activities they’ve been engaging in, but we know that police officers can’t be everywhere all the time,” Wade said.
The reader’s record people’s license plates, so if a crime occurs near those cameras, police can go back through a database and find the car that was potentially involved.
“We think its a good addition,” Wade said. “They’ve been effective in other communities, its an alternative to bringing on more police officers so we get that coverage without actually having to put more police officers on the street.”
Rantoul Police Department has solved two crimes using the license plate readers. While other cities, like Urbana, voted against them, following community concern.
Click the links below for more information:
“We think we have a pretty good track record,” Wade said. “We’ve been using security cameras for over a decade now. We have a very large security camera network. Its been very helpful for us in a lot of different criminal investigations and we have very strict policies in place to make sure that is not misused.”
UI Police want to make it known these cameras will help solve crime and keep students safe, while also possibly helping other areas of Champaign County.
“This is one piece of that puzzle,” Wade said. “This is another tool that we can use to hold offenders accountable when crimes are committed in our campus.”
Champaign City Council will be meeting next week. They plan to speak about automatic license plate readers in their meeting.