New system will monitor for licence plates of interest: police

Sault Ste. Marie now has stationary automated licence plate readers (ALPR) located on Great Northern Road and Trunk Road which monitor for licence plates of interest at the east and north highway access points.

“Designated members of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service (SSMPS) will be able to enter licence plates of interest into the operating system, such as vehicles associated with missing persons, amber alerts, human trafficking, and organized crime,” states a news release issued by the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service. “When a licence plate of interest is captured by the ALPR system, it will alert designated members of the service.”

Full text of the release follows:

Effective June 13, 2022, there are stationary automated licence plate readers (ALPR) located at the east and north entrance/exits of Sault Ste. Marie. Both locations – Trunk Road and Great Northern Road – will have two ALPR cameras to be able to scan licence plates of interest travelling in and out of Sault Ste. Marie.

Each camera provides an infrared and coloured image, capturing two plates per camera per second.

Designated members of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service (SSMPS) will be able to enter licence plates of interest into the operating system, such as vehicles associated with missing persons, amber alerts, human trafficking, and organized crime. When a licence plate of interest is captured by the ALPR system, it will alert designated members of the Service.

The ALPR system will automatically purge images of licence plates not designated as a licence plate of interest every 24 hours.

“Due to our unique geographical location, we know organized crime smuggle drugs, weapons, and people through Sault Ste. Marie across Ontario and Canada,” says Chief Hugh Stevenson. “This initiative will allow us to monitor vehicles of interest to better protect this community our children, family members and neighbours.”

The stationary ALPR system will be a valuable tool, not only for the SSMPS, but also to support the investigations of our partner law enforcement agencies across Canada.

Extensive consultations with the office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario took place prior to the ALPR system becoming active.

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