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How Law Enforcement Agencies Use Dashcam ALPR to Locate Vehicles

The evolution of technology has transformed various aspects of law enforcement over the years. One key technological advancement that has enhanced policing capabilities is Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR). ALPR systems use optical character recognition and machine learning to instantly and accurately read license plates.

Initially, ALPR systems were standalone technologies mounted on police vehicles. However, the shift is now towards integrated solutions that combine ALPR with other systems like dashcams. This integration between dashcams and modern ALPR systems is revolutionizing law enforcement.

According to statistics, over 70% of law enforcement agencies reported using ALPR as an investigative tool in 2020. The adoption of ALPR continues to grow rapidly across agencies. This article explores how dashcams help law enforcement agencies locate vehicles.

The Evolution of ALPR in Law Enforcement | Plate Recognizer

Police cars with sirens on the street. Source: Canva

The Evolution of ALPR in Law Enforcement

ALPR allows officers to quickly scan multiple plates and instantly check them against hotlists of vehicles associated with crimes. It has become an indispensable investigative and ALPR in Law Enforcement tool for agencies.

The Rise of Standalone ALPR Systems

  • Agencies adopt ALPR to enhance capabilities.
  • Expands the collection of relevant data.
  • Expedites comparing license plates.

Limitations of Traditional Standalone ALPR

  • Issues with power supply and wiring.
  • Shaky mounts and poor camera positioning.
  • Lack of integration with in-car systems.

Transition to Integrated ALPR Systems

  • Introduction of integrated solutions like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2


  • Stability and optimized placement
  • Integration with dashcams
  • Enhanced efficiency
Comparison between Standalone ALPR and Integrated ALPR Systems | Plate Recognizer

Dashcam car camera view. Source: Canva

Comparison between Standalone ALPR and Integrated ALPR Systems

Standalone ALPR

Integrated ALPR Systems

Power supply issues

Stable power supply

Unstable mounts

Optimized placement

Lack of integration with in-car systems

Integration with in-car systems

Advantages of Modern ALPR Systems Integrated with Dashcams | Plate Recognizer

Police Car and a SUV parked. Source: Canva

The Role of Dashcams in Modern Policing

The Traditional Role of Dashcams

  • Documenting traffic stops since the 1980s.
  • Recording evidence during patrols.
  • Enhancing officer accountability.
  • Police training purposes.

Evolution of Dashcams as Multifunctional Systems

  • Integration with modern technologies:
  • GPS.
  • Speed detection sensors.
  • ALPR.
  • Allows combining video recording with automation.

Benefits of Integrating Dashcams with ALPR

  • Enhances the evidentiary value of footage.
  • Enables real-time alert capability.
  • Embeds ALPR data into video metadata.
  • Improves officer awareness and safety.
  • More efficient evidence analysis.

The Next Evolution in Policing Technology

  • Modern ALPR systems with advanced features and benefits.
  • Integration of dashcams and ALPR pushes boundaries.
Dashcam ALPR - Car CCTV camera | Plate Recognizer

Car CCTV camera. Source: Canva

Advantages of Modern ALPR Systems Integrated with Dashcams

Modern ALPR systems integrated with dashcams offer law enforcement agencies several advantages:

  • Space Efficiency: Integrated systems like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2 conserve space within police vehicles by combining dashcams with ALPR technology seamlessly in one unit. This prevents vehicle modifications and clutter from multiple devices.
  • Rapid Deployment: With interoperable and stable integrated systems, ALPR can be implemented quickly across entire fleets of patrol cars to boost efficiency.
  • Real-time Notifications: Dashcam video augmentation with instant ALPR alerts enhances officer awareness about stolen, wanted, crime-related, or uninsured vehicles during traffic stops.

The advantages of modern ALPR systems are evident, but the real magic happens when artificial intelligence enters the fray, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

The Power of AI in ALPR and Dashcam Integration

Modern integrated ALPR systems like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2 utilize AI and machine learning to deliver unmatched accuracy and skills. They also allow seamless integration with dash cams with cloud storage for evidence management.

  • AI Machine Learning: ALPR now leverages AI-powered optical character recognition for real-time reads with over 99% accuracy across all plate types.
  • Over-the-Air Updates: AI-enabled systems can be continuously improved with remote over-the-air software updates. This ensures they stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
  • Reading Capabilities: AI allows integrated ALPR systems to read license plates from all 50 states, including the new digital plates, vanity plates, commercial plates, and more.

With the integration of AI, ALPR systems have become more efficient and future-ready. But as with any technology, the true test lies in its practical application and the tangible benefits it offers to law enforcement agencies.

Rich Metadata and Increased Hit Criteria Through Dashcams

Modern ALPR integrated with dashcams captures extensive metadata for each license plate read beyond just the plate number. Other information read includes:

  • Vehicle color, make, model, and body type.
  • State of registration.
  • GPS coordinates and exact time of reading.

The video footage from dash cams adds even more context to this metadata to aid investigations. This enhanced data depth overcomes limitations faced by legacy ALPR systems.

The dashcam integration also increases “hit” criteria during ALPR searches across hotlists. Officers now get visual verification of potential hits instead of just an alert. This reduces false positives and prevents unnecessary stops of innocent citizens.

Integrated Systems for Seamless Operations

Leading integrated ALPR solutions consolidate data management within the same platform that houses digital evidence like dashcam footage. This enables seamless end-to-end workflows.

Benefits of tight system integration include:

  • Cost savings from purchasing bundled systems.
  • Reduced training time for officers on a single platform.
  • Enhanced collaboration between agencies by sharing actionable insights from ALPR data.

Lights from cars traveling on a network of roads. Source: Canva

Cost, Space, and Operational Efficiency of Dashcams with ALPR

Consolidating dashcams and ALPR into a single integrated system provides multiple benefits:

  • Savings on the total cost of ownership by combining multiple technologies.
  • Compact, low-profile, in-cab design with internal placement conserves vehicle real estate.
  • Enhanced ALPR accuracy from optimized camera positioning.
  • Simplified operations and workflow for officers within one system.

By enhancing ALPR capabilities while also boosting officer safety and situational awareness, integrated dashcams prove their worth as an invaluable investment.

The Value Proposition of Modern ALPR Systems with Dashcams

ALPR integrated with dashcams provides unmatched operational efficiency, cost savings, safety, and investigatory powers to law enforcement agencies. The rich insights it provides into vehicle locations, movements, and ownership make it a worthy investment.

Top-tier solutions like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2 with ALPR offer affordable ALPR bundling options customized to the needs and budgets of departments – both large and small.

As ALPR continues to evolve, integration with dash cams will only further unlock its potential to uplift policing efforts. This innovation helps officers focus on what they do best – serving and protecting their communities.

Dashcam ALPR FAQs | Plate Recognizer

Aerial view from above of night scene megalopolis. . Source: Canva

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does the AI-powered ALPR system differ from traditional systems in terms of functionality and efficiency when integrated with dashcams?

AI-powered ALPR systems offer continuous accuracy improvements through machine learning algorithms. This allows them to read all license plate types and styles with over 99% efficiency. AI also enables remote over-the-air upgrades to enhance functionality.


2. What are the primary cost-saving benefits of using integrated ALPR systems like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2 with dashcams?

Bundling ALPR with dashcams into a single device saves costs compared to purchasing separate systems. It prevents duplicate components, reduces maintenance costs, and consolidates technology spending into one platform.


3. How do modern ALPR systems ensure officer safety while enhancing their situational awareness during operations using dashcam footage?

Real-time dashcam integration provides instant license plate alerts to officers on wanted vehicles or driving violations. Enhanced situational awareness through video augmentation enables informed actions to diffuse high-risk scenarios.

Final Thoughts

The integration of dashcams with modern ALPR systems is revolutionizing law enforcement by improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing investigative capabilities. Solutions like Safe Fleet FOCUS H2 offer integrated bundles suitable for agencies of all sizes and budgets.

However, to build community trust, responsible ALPR use policies, robust cybersecurity, and privacy protections are critical. As ALPR technology advances, integration with dashcams will further enhance its ability to support policing.

In conclusion, this unified technological infrastructure promises to elevate law enforcement capabilities to new levels of safety, service, and success for officers and the public. The collaboration between dashcams and ALPR represents an exciting new chapter in policing evolution.

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