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Hazlet, N.J., police department receives new mobile computers and license plate readers

In Hazlet, New Jersey, the local police department received an approved bond ordinance for $350,000 that will allocate $150,000 toward new police data terminals, which work as large computers that can be transferable between patrolling cars, the Independent reported.

The approval came on May 20, and the police department also plans to use the additional funds for a new car-mounted license plate reader in parallel efforts to add more crime control technology to the force, the source cited.

Police Chief James Broderick explained the computer terminals will help officers increase their communication with headquarters and enable access to the department network with immediate crime data information at their fingertips. The goal of the system is to make the officers more efficient in the field.

"An officer can go to the scene of a burglary and start the report right on the tablet," Broderick said, according to the Independent. "He can take photographs with the same tablet, attach them right to the report and send all the data into our system over a wireless connection. It saves him from having to come in and take the time to type the report out. It keeps him out on the road."

License plate readers a big addition as well
Not only will officers be in better communication with the new data terminals, but the police department in Hazlet will benefit from the new $26,000 license plate readers that use car-mounted cameras and software to scan and store images of license plates as cars go by, the Independent reported.

Broderick explained the license plate reader will be able to scan the plate numbers and run them through a police database to check for stolen vehicles, fraudulent tags and missing persons, the source cited.

Some skepticism has come in from neighboring towns that also use the readers, with some residents claiming their use violates privacy. However, Broderick explains the scanning system is mainly in use for larger crimes and, while it can scan for expired tags, is not intended for use in addressing petty crimes.

The chief explained to the source that tracking license plate numbers while operating a police cruiser can be dangerous, but with the new system, officers don't need to do both at the same time.

In nearby Holmdel, New Jersey, Sgt. Michael Pigott explained that the police scanners have worked well for catching stolen vehicles and getting unregistered vehicles off the roads, the Holmdel-Hazlet Patch reported.

More police departments are searching for new technologies to bring greater efficiencies and lower crime rates in their cities. NC4 Street Smart technology allows officers to stay connected with up-to-the-second police bulletin boards, crime reports and a detailed crime map to help stop crime.


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