SP&T News

U.S. police stations choose AutoVu for stolen vehicle recovery

Within the last four months, five independent police departments within the State of Texas selected AutoVu, Genetec’s advanced licence plate recognition (LPR) solution, to automate the recovery of stolen vehicles. Houston PD, Corpus Christi PD, Del Rio PD, El Paso PD and Montgomery County Sherriff’s Department, all located in Texas, have each equipped their officers with AutoVu.

March 28, 2008  By Staff

Previous to the automation of checking licence plates, officers would
either manually punch licence plate numbers into their mobile data
terminals, which would then compare plate numbers to an online database
of stolen vehicles, or they would call in numbers to dispatch centers
if for some reason suspicion was raised. Although all police
departments were manually scanning plates on a daily basis, the
procedure was tedious and would only result in a maximum of 100 plates
being checked per day.

 “We were looking for the ability of speed, where we could run more
plates; just something less time consuming,” claimed Drew Sheppard,
Auto Theft Investigator at Houston PD, about their reasons for looking
for a technologically advanced LPR solution. Many lead officers on the
project shopped around and consulted references prior to adopting the
AutoVu technology, but it was a unanimous decision: “AutoVu seemed to
be reading plates a lot more efficiently, that’s why I purchased it,”
claimed Brian Hill, Supervisor for the Auto Theft Task Force from
Corpus Christi PD. Today, with Genetec’s AutoVu, officers can read up
to 3,000 plates per day.

Amongst many other benefits of purchasing Genetec’s AutoVu solution
such as dealing with a pro-active vendor, having the ability to test a
demo, and experiencing extensive customer support, law enforcement
officers saw great value in two other features: its ability to read
flat plates and the user-friendliness of the system.

According to
Detective David Mercier, Detective in the Auto Burglary & Theft
Prevention/Recovery at Del Rio PD, “This solution is future-proofed. In
case the State of Texas decides in the future to switch to flat plates,
this technology will not become obsolete and we will not lose our
investment.” Mario Ceniceros, Administrative Sergeant at the Auto Theft
Division from El Paso PD also added “It is doing exactly what we
expected, and more. This is a solution that is self-explanatory and
very simple to work.”


Although all these police departments are still testing and discovering
new capabilities, they have all agreed that the increased efficiency at
recovering stolen vehicles has certainly justified their expense. Most
even claimed that they needed to have more AutoVu mobile units on the
streets in order to fully take advantage of the technology.

Genetec was thrilled to be able to provide more police officers in the
State of Texas with tools to make their officers more efficient at
recovering stolen vehicles, and glad that all these police departments
feel confident in their investment. “Overall, we are extremely
satisfied with the AutoVu system. I have nothing but good to say about
[Genetec], from the sales person, to the tech support, to the
installers. Every interaction that I have had [Genetec] has been
extremely positive,” stated Detective David Mercier.

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