These new license plate readers are on main streets of almost every city here in the Coachella Valley, helping solve crime everyday.

“It’s important because it gives another tool to law enforcement to be able to solve crime.” says an undercover Sheriff for Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

If you’ve driven on any of the main roads here in the Coachella Valley, you may have come across a solar-panel looking device in the middle divider of the road.

“It actually allows us to deter crime and also be able to solve a lot of the crimes that we have and hopefully bring justice to the victims in arresting, hopefully collect depending on the type of crime, also collecting their property back.”

Well what exactly do these license plate readers do? 

“Primarily what it does is just captures the vehicles passing by. It doesn’t capture people, it doesn’t, it doesn’t do any of that, it just captures the rear portion of the vehicle.” says the Sheriff.

This technology helps law enforcement do their jobs in a more efficient and timely manner.

“Even within the first camera that was installed within the City of Palm Desert, within the first three hours, we were able to recover a stolen vehicle that was reported stolen the night prior.” 

These license plate readers have helped aid law enforcement with many different criminal cases since being installed.

For those that might be concerned, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department says “The concerns were built into the program, so there’s really no insight; it’s very restricted on how we use the system… so we have to have certain cases associated with it. We can’t just blatantly search for whatever vehicle whatever without a reason the system won’t allow us to do that.”

Now you’ll see more of these readers popping up soon, with the City of La Quinta voting to install almost 70 of them within their city just last week.

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