License Plate Recognition Announcement

Prince George's County, Maryland

August 4, 2010


It’s great to be here in Gorgeous Prince George’s County.  A few months ago, we chose to announce here in Prince George’s that we’ve succeeded together, as One Maryland, in driving violent crime, homicide, and auto theft down to the lowest rates in our State since 1975 (with a 36% decrease in auto theft between 2006 and 2009). 

And here in Prince George’s County, we’re making our neighborhoods and communities safer, with the lowest violent crime rate since 1984, the lowest overall crime rate since 1975, and the lowest automobile theft rate since 1985 – with nearly a 44% reduction in auto thefts over the past three years.

To move Maryland forward, we must continue the progress we’re making together to take our streets and neighborhoods back for our families. 

The public’s safety is the most sacred and important priority of government at any level – and in our State government, as we work to create jobs, save jobs, and protect our middle class families, we know that our forward-moving, job-creating progress is only possible with safer streets, healthier neighborhoods, and a strong, growing, and increasingly diverse middle class.

License Plate Reader Announcement

The progress we’re making together on public safety isn’t a result of chance.  It’s a result of choice; choices we’re making together to partner and align our efforts like never before,… choices we’re making to set big goals and hold ourselves accountable for reaching them,… choices to openly measure the performance of our institutions and efforts,.. choices to broadly share information rather than hording it,…

… And the choices we’re making to apply emerging technologies to crime fighting; technologies like Geographic Information Systems, DNA analysis, advanced fingerprinting, and the topic we’re here to discuss: license plate readers: cameras and computers that scan vehicle license plates and match those plates against databases of stolen vehicles, wanted persons and other law enforcement and homeland security databases. 

Today, we’re announcing three strategies we’re advancing to expand license plate recognition in the State of Maryland:

  1. We are creating a first-in-the-nation statewide network for license plate recognition which will integrate both state and local data so that we are able to more effectively locate an abducted child, a stolen car, a violent offender who has violated parole, or another threat to safety and security. 
  2. To maximize the effectiveness of the network for saving lives and protecting our public safety, we are creating a single, easy-to-use database which will allow law enforcement throughout our State to retrieve data from the network. 
  3. We will use of a combination of federal grants and existing state funds to invest $2 million in 100 new readers, which we will deploy across our State over the next year.  The investment will come in the form of grants to local law enforcement agencies – and it will double the $2 million we have provided to local agencies for the deployment of 105 readers across our State.


The bottom line is that this technology works – and we’ve already been having success in putting it to use here in Maryland, using it to locate and arrest drug dealers, thieves, carjackers, and violent offenders who violate the terms of their parole among others.

In addition to helping us drive down automobile theft to the lowest rate in Maryland since 1975, this technology doubles as a powerful homeland security tool for safeguarding places like BWI, the Port of Baltimore and transit stations throughout our State. 

Thank you all very much.  We continue to work together, as One Maryland, to move our State forward by improving public safety. 


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