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3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Purchasing a License Plate Reader

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Whether you're part of an HOA looking to keep your neighborhood safe or a member of a law enforcement agency, the benefits of a license plate reader are indisputable. 

That said, how you navigate the purchasing process can have a huge impact on the power and longevity of your LPR technology. 

Here are three tips to consider if you're thinking of purchasing a license plate reader.

1. Avoid a startup. 

When it comes to technology that can literally mean life or death, it's critical to partner with a company that has been in the business from the beginning and has experience working with both law enforcement and private citizens. Leonardo has been pioneering license plate reader technology for over two decades. We've seen how it has evolved to meet emerging needs, and we know where it needs to go next. And we're transparent about what our cameras can and can't do. In fact, many of our employees spent years in law enforcement and recognize firsthand the importance of a well-established organization. (Like Jim Craige, our field operations manager.)

2. Avoid a one-solution operation.

Be wary of companies that only offer one type of camera. It may be affordable and work for some purposes, but what happens when you want to scale up and create a safety net with multiple installations—and that one camera doesn't fit all situations? That's why our ever-expanding ecosystem of ELSAG® license plate reader systems includes multiple options: fixed, mobile, solar-powered and custom solutions.

3. Avoid companies that limit how you pay for the plate readers.

Paying upfront sounds simple enough, but with an investment this important, it's smart to research companies that offer multiple ways to fund your purchase and lets you decide which method fits your specific needs. Maybe you'd rather pay annually, finance it over a couple of years, or straight up purchase it. Better yet, look for a company that will help you secure law enforcement grants. Leonardo partners with PoliceGrantsHelp to offer you free grant assistance.

Whatever you do, make sure you look for actual facts and data—about the cameras, about the company, and about your situation in particular. Any good organization will have data and success stories to back up their products. Look for transparency and experience, and you should be in good hands. 

Want to set up a 30-minute consultation with an ALPR expert?  Let us know here