Red Light Cameras Help With Amber Alerts In Oak Forest
As much as I loathe red light cameras, a red light camera manufacturer has developed an amazing feature that may assist in stopping child abductions.
Gatso USA, which was awarded the red light camera contract for five intersections a year ago in suburban Oak Forest, tested their new amber alert system in that suburb recently with allegedly impressive results.
This system, when activated, can in real time, scan license plates of vehicles passing through the camera enhanced intersections and then alert law enforcement if the vehicle in question is located.
The obvious benefit is that abducted children can potentially be located faster using this technology.
If we could use red light cameras to catch child kidnappers instead of drivers going through a red light by mistake, I would be all for them.
Here’s the press release from Gatso.
GATSO USA Introduces Industry’s First AMBER Alert Photo Enforcement Camera — Helping Police Stop Child Abductions
Camera’s AMBER Alert Feature Can Drastically Increase Chances of Locating Abducted Children During Crucial First Minutes of Search
BEVERLY, MA–(Marketwire – November 24, 2008) – Gatso USA, a leading photo enforcement systems provider, announced today that after one year of development, testing and customer evaluation, its flagship GS11 red light and speed camera now carries an AMBER Alert feature that can help ensure the safety of abducted children by decreasing law enforcement’s response time in locating suspected criminals. The AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.
The camera’s AMBER Alert feature enables police departments to search in real time for wanted or suspect vehicles at intersections or locations within a city’s network of compatible red light or speed photo enforcement cameras. When a suspect vehicle passes a camera location, the camera immediately reports the information back to the police department.
In a recent evaluation of Gatso USA’s GS11 AMBER Alert capability conducted in a south suburb of Chicago, Deputy Chief David DeMarco of the Oak Forest Police Department, the chief coordinator of the evaluation, stated, “I was amazed. Within 20 seconds of passing a camera location, we were notified in the field with a message and a photo that my car was detected at the camera location when the AMBER Alert feature was activated. It’s a priceless tool for law enforcement when looking for a suspect vehicle involved in an abduction or serious crime. We consider the evaluation to be highly successful.”
The evaluation was coordinated after the city of Oak Forest installed several of Gatso’s GS11 red light photo enforcement solutions for designated intersections within the city. The city of Oak Forest conducted an extensive evaluation of five red light camera photo enforcement solutions and selected Gatso based on product performance as well as the beneficial cost structure provided, which does not require any capital expenditure from the City or the police department.
“We are excited about the value that our AMBER Alert capability provides to law enforcement in helping to save children’s lives by immediately locating a suspect vehicle involved in child abductions and other serious crimes,” said Andrew Noble, President of Gatso USA.
Nearby cities of Hanover Park and Streamwood, Illinois will also have their Gatso red light cameras enabled with the AMBER Alert feature, linking the two cities for a broader detection area.
For more than 50 years Gatso has been providing world-class photo enforcement systems to law enforcement and transportation agencies at the federal, state and local levels. Spanning 60 countries and 45,000 camera installations, Gatso continues to be the pioneer in leading edge traffic enforcement systems. Earning vast government technical approvals, globally, Gatso has set the standard in the US market by providing the first digital traffic camera to the market in 1998 through to introducing unprecedented AMBER Alert capabilities in 2008.
Gatso USA is headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts with offices in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. For additional information please visit our website www.gatso-usa.com.