Littleton Police Department Expands Use of Federal Signal's Mobile ALPR System

Colorado agency showcases potential of Automated License Plate Recognition technology by collaborative effort with neighboring police agencies

Oct 14, 2010, 17:33 ET from Federal Signal Corporation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- After more than a year of successful deployment, the Littleton Police Department is taking its Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology one step further by hosting a server for use by two neighboring Denver metro-area police agencies.  Littleton has also begun using the ALPR system, provided by Federal Signal Corporation's PIPS Technology, to share data for criminal investigations with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's office.

Citing data already compiled, Division Commander William Christensen of the Littleton Police Department reports that Federal Signal's PIPS system is averaging 56,000 reads per month with 217 average hits each month.  Since acquiring ALPR in 2009, Christensen credits the technology with a number of noteworthy successes: identifying numerous stolen vehicles, wanted persons, and sex offenders.  He adds that the systems have also been very valuable for recording license plates in the vicinity of major crime scenes for later reference by investigators.

The lightbar-mounted Slate™ cameras of the Federal Signal ALPR system record every vehicle encountered, and use sophisticated algorithms to translate license plate images into text for immediate cross-referencing against any "wanted vehicle and person" databases. Officers are immediately alerted on their laptops as to vehicles of interest; all data is recorded to a SuperRex™ III ALPR processor.

In making the case for the expanded use of Littleton's ALPR system, Christensen emphasized that, "criminal activity does not stop at the city limits," while stressing that information interoperability from agency to agency and jurisdiction to jurisdiction has become an essential element of effective law enforcement.  "Though the ALPR system has already provided us with a valuable tool for information gathering, the decision to host a server with two local police agencies as well as share data with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's operations will help us overcome barriers that have hampered data sharing with these neighboring police agencies in the past."

Littleton's system incorporates a Back Office System Software (BOSS™) database that enables users to organize and archive the vast amount of data generated by the mobile ALPR units.  The system's web interface allows data to be readily viewed by other Denver metro-area law enforcement agencies using the PIPS Technology.  Employing a user-friendly and intuitive user interface, the system permits users to query the data against multiple search parameters, including time, date, full or partial plate, location and user.  The system is even capable of mapping all locations associated to a particular plate in order to track vehicle movement.

Littleton has five vehicles equipped with the PIPS ALPR system.  After making the initial decision to explore the advantages of the technology, the Littleton P.D. called on the services of Police Technology Review, a Phoenix, AZ-based consulting firm specializing in law enforcement technology, to conduct a comprehensive review of currently available ALPR systems.  "In terms of innovation, the PIPS system with the supporting BOSS software, particularly the Slate cameras, demonstrated the technical sophistication, ease-of-use and compatibility with future technology that were our most critical concerns," explains Michael Coogan, President of Police Technology Review.

"The ALPR system substantially enhances field enforcement of wanted vehicles, while providing better proactive, preventive enforcement in supporting intelligent investigations and data sharing across jurisdictions," says Matt Brady, VP of Worldwide Sales of Federal Signal's Safety and Security business.  Noting that PIPS continues to make inroads with law enforcement agencies throughout the west and southwest, Brady adds: "As is the case with the Littleton Police, more and more agencies are now taking advantage of PIPS' data-sharing capabilities, and illustrating the impressive potential of this fast-growing technology."

About Federal Signal

Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS) enhances the safety, security and well-being of communities and workplaces around the world.  Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and institutional customers.  Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates four groups:  Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions, Fire Rescue and FS Technology.  For more information on Federal Signal, visit:

SOURCE Federal Signal Corporation