By Arnold Adler
PARAMOUNT — The City Council Nov. 17 agreed to purchase a license plate reader premium speed trailer at a cost of $55,465.55. Part of the cost will be from a police grant.
In another police-related action Nov. 17, the council approved use of a second federal police grant of $156,000 for law enforcement purposes.
The license plate reader purchase agreement is with Vigilant Solutions and includes installation labor costs, product maintenance costs, shipping costs, a five-year hardware warranty, and 10.25% sales tax, according to Public Safety Director Adriana Lopez in a report to the council.
“The automated photo device compares captured license plates (of stationery or passing vehicles) to onboard county and state databases of stolen vehicles, stolen plates, warrant vehicles and vehicles of interest,” Lopez said in her report. “The speed trailer system then notifies deputies when a license plate of interest matches against county or state databases.
The license plate reader also is equipped with an electronic message board to advise speeding motorists to slow down, Lopez added.
Funding will include $20,732 from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Staff is proposing to fund the remaining $34,733.55 of the total cost with general Public Safety Department budget funds, Lopez said.
The grant stipulates that 3% of the total amount be allocated to fund the local law enforcement’s database, therefore, $621.96 has been reserved for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” which serves Paramount.
The Paramount Special Assignment Team will deploy the license plate reader on major streets throughout the city to decrease auto theft, recover vehicles of interest and deter speeding, the report said.
Since 1997, the city has received $427,238 to support crime-fighting efforts through federal funding. There is no required local funding match, Lopez added.
The second law enforcement grant is from the state Department of Justice Citizens’ Option for Public Safety program, Lopez said.
Proposed use of COPS funds is in the current budget, she noted.
“We intend to continue providing additional party patrol overtime and crime suppression overtime to assist with the high volume of calls and to address crime trends in a timely matter.”