Law Enforcement


ELSAG License Plate Technology and Law Enforcement

A legacy of serving the needs of law enforcement

Leonardo's  ELSAG plate reader systems have been used by law enforcement for over two decades. Our solutions assist police departments with recovering stolen vehicles, finding missing persons, securing large public venues such as sporting events and concerts, aiding homeland security and tracking down suspects.

More than 70% of crimes in the U.S. involve a vehicle. Having technology that's able to read up to 900 plates a minute, per plate reader, helps police officers to quickly identify suspect vehicles and keep your community safer.

Offering a full ecosystem of  ELSAG plate reader technologies including fixed, mobile, solar-powered and custom camera solutions.

All of our ELSAG solutions can be integrated with the smartest, most robust data management and analysis software system available, the ELSAG Enterprise Operations Center™.

We are committed to making the efficiencies and power of ELSAG LPR technologies affordable to agencies of all sizes.

"Our department has been working with Leonardo since 2009. We see ELSAG LPR as true force multipliers and not just for stolen vehicle recovery. They are instrumental in many of our investigations."

Chief Dawn Layman, Lenexa, KS

Why law enforcement agencies count on our ALPR/ANPR systems:

  • Force multiplier: Do more with limited resources
    By deplaying LPRs in your jurisdiction, you add an extra set of eyes to your agency, helping your officers be more efficient and effective at deterring and fighting crime.

  • On-the-spot data: Promote public and officer safety
    Instant data captures allow your officers to act quickly when the system hits a hotlist match, a key factor in keeping the public safer. Officers also know if they're dealing with a routine traffic infraction or something more serious. In addition, AMBER and Silver alerts go out through our system, alerting officers to urgent cases of missing persons.

  • Database management: Organize a continuous stream of information
    We provide the platform that manages license plate reader data, so the incoming information is coordinated in an organized, secure and user-friendly database that is enhanced by a variety of analytical tools.

  • Investigation tool: Queries close cases faster
    Your saved LPR data becomes a powerful investigative tool for catching criminals and exonerating the innocent.

The Advantages of Plate Reader Technology for Law Enforcement 


Recovery of stolen vehicles and license plates

As police officers carry out their daily duties, they have the ability to swiftly retrieve stolen license plates and vehicles. This is made possible by the ALPR system, which continually scan plate after plate against hotlists and promptly alerts officers when a suspicious plate or vehicle is detected in close proximity.

Recovering plates and vehicles, as well as removing drivers with suspended or revoked licenses from the streets, has a tremendous impact on safety. It also benefits the insurance industry, because fewer claims are being paid out.


Missing Persons

Our ALPR systems are equipped to receive AMBER and Silver alerts, enabling officers in the field to stay informed about critical situations involving abducted or missing individuals.

In cases where a Silver alert is issued, for instance, when a senior citizen with dementia goes missing or becomes disoriented while driving, their concerned family member would contact the police for assistance. By utilizing their license plate recognition system, law enforcement officers can input the license plate number of the missing vehicle into a shared hotlist. This enables every police car equipped with ALPR technology to actively search for the vehicle. As soon as the license plate reader detects a match, it immediately alerts the officers, ensuring prompt action.

In situations involving AMBER Alerts or suspected abductions, even if only a partial plate number is available, it can be entered into the law enforcement hotlist. The license plate recognition system will then generate a comprehensive list of possible plate numbers based on the syntax of the state. Additional details, such as the color, make, or model of the suspect vehicle, can further narrow down the list of potential complete license plate numbers.

In cases involving missing persons, it is common for multiple agencies within a state or even neighboring jurisdictions that span state lines to collaborate and expedite the search process. This collaborative effort aims to bring swift resolution to cases involving missing individuals. Leonardo's automatic license plate readers, which include both fixed and mobile systems, are widely utilized by over 4,000 agencies across all 50 states in the U.S. and numerous countries worldwide.


Drug-related Crime

Our  ALPR technology has been proven to aid law enforcement in efforts to deter and resolve drug-related activity. Fundamentally, the ALPR system reads license plates at the rate of over 900 plates per minute, comparing each to a hotlist of vehicles suspected of being associated with drug-related offenses or incidents.

When an ALPR camera reads a license plate included on that hotlist, alarms are broadcast in real time to the officer using the system, the agency command center and other officers in the field.  ALPR alarm information tells officers which vehicle caused the alarm, at what time and the location of the suspect vehicle when the plate was scanned. The car and driver can be tracked down quickly and safely for interdiction.

Leonardo's ALPR data  also aids investigations, even carrying weight in criminal trials. It begins with the information collected for each and every license plate the ALPR system reads, which includes license plate number, date and time stamps, GPS coordinates, and a color photo showing a significant portion of the vehicle and its immediate environment. With each ALPR camera collecting this data for up to 900 license plates per minute, investigators have vast amounts of information to work with.

Detectives can review all of this data for specific periods of time and possibly decipher important information, such as confirming a dealer or trafficking suspect at a scene, identifying traffic patterns, discovering vehicles that always travel together and identifying possible witnesses. Combined with data shared by other agencies, there's almost no place for drug dealers, traffickers and users to hide.


Homeland Security

In today's world, vehicles have become an integral part of criminal activities and terrorism on a global scale. In regions facing an alarming increase in vehicle-related crime, it becomes imperative for law enforcement agencies to efficiently and accurately identify  a significant number of suspect vehicles.
Leonardo works closely with law enforcement and homeland security agencies globally to create customized plate reader solutions for effective and quick policing of:
  • Tracking gang-related crime
  • Locating persons and vehicles of interest moving across jurisdictions
  • Drug trafficking at border crossings
  • Illegal immigration
  • Anti-terrorism
  • Border protection

Campus and School Safety

Law enforcement agencies at schools and colleges rely on Leonardo's ALPR technology to effectively handle two crucial tasks - enhancing security measures and tackling the issue of illegal parking. Through the strategic placement of fixed plate readers across campus or the utilization of mobile ALPR units, this advanced technology creates a robust virtual policing system and a reliable safety net.

Illegal parking not only poses safety concerns but also creates challenges for the administration responsible for enforcing parking fines, particularly when dealing with repeat offenders who consistently fail to pay.


Suspended and Revoked Licenses

Our advanced ALPR system technology dramatically increases the number of suspended and revoked drivers removed from the road. Our ALPR system:
  • Identifies license plates belonging to suspended/revoked drivers, uninsured vehicles and unregistered vehicles.
  • Instantly recognizes those vehicles and alerts officers so interdiction can take place.
  • Multiplies the force and effectiveness of every officer looking for suspended drivers.
With its exceptional algorithm technology, this ALPR system sets itself apart from the competition in terms of ease of deployment, capabilities, and accuracy, making it the superior choice for law enforcement agencies.


Interagency Collaboration

The exceptional efficiency and remarkable effectiveness of Leonardo's ALPR technology in addressing a wide range of public safety challenges has sparked widespread interest among states, leading to the implementation of this groundbreaking technology on a statewide level. Recently, states such as New York, Maryland, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. have all embraced programs that enable jurisdictions to seamlessly share their ALPR data. This collaborative approach aims to expedite case resolution and enhance overall public safety efforts.


Ebook: Growing your agency’s license plate reader network (without breaking the bank)


Published in partnership with Police1

Download our free ebook to explore innovative approaches to initiate or expand your agency’s use of LPR technology. 

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Discover how easy it is to implement and maintain an ELSAG ALPR System.

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