January 8, 2019

Mayor Emanuel, Superintendent Johnson Unveil the First of 200 New Police License Plate Reader Vehicles That Will Be Deployed Citywide

Latest investment part of a larger citywide strategy that has resulted in an 18 percent reduction in carjackings and 31 percent increase in arrests

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department (CPD) Superintendent Eddie Johnson today unveiled the first of 200 new patrol vehicles that will be equipped with License Plate Reader (LPR) technology. The citywide roll out will ensure that every police district has at least six LPR-equipped vehicles in their fleet. This investment builds on the city’s strategy for combating carjacking and car thefts that has resulted in an 18 percent reduction in incidents of carjacking and a 31 percent increase in arrests as compared to last year.

“We are ensuring our officers have the tools, training and technology to be proactive in the fight against crime,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Equipping squad cars with state-of-the-art technology and deploying them to every district in Chicago will help the Chicago Police Department continue to drive down crime in communities across the city.”

LPR technology allows the City to match license plates against the list of stolen vehicles sent to the LPRs daily by the OEMC. If the LPR system identifies a stolen vehicle, CPD officers are automatically alerted so they can investigate further. The alerts will also be analyzed in CPD's advanced Strategic Decision Support Centers, which are high-tech nerve centers within police districts across the city.

"CPD's use of LPR technology demonstrates how sharing resources through targeted collaboration helps violent crime victims,” said Superintendent Johnson. “The recovery of these stolen vehicles and the arrest of the individuals driving them, will serve as a deterrent to other individuals considering committing similar crimes.”

The first phase of 50 new LPR-equipped vehicles will be deployed this month. Additional vehicles will roll out during the first quarter, with all 200 cars deployed by early March 2019.

The latest investment brings the police fleet of LPR equipped vehicle to nearly 300 in addition to 126 LPR pole mounted units and mobile booter vehicles that are utilized by partner city agencies including the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Finance.

The expansion builds off of a strategy that launched in 2017 that includes the Vehicular Hijacking Taskforce, a multi-agency vehicular hijacking task force comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement partners and prosecutors, who work together to identify carjacking patterns and apprehend targeted offenders.

The latest technological enhancements follow a second consecutive year of citywide reductions in overall crime, with fewer murders, shootings, robberies, burglaries and vehicle thefts throughout 2018 than in 2017.