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Parking Maids Beef Up With Automatic Cameras

Stolen cars could be found faster, and people with outstanding parking tickets will be caught earlier too, thanks to a new city resolution. Monday, the city council voted 6-to-zero to give parking enforcement staff surveillance equipment.
The Spokane Police already use automatic license plate readers, ALPRs, to track stolen cars or people with warrants. Now, city parking enforcers are getting ALPR cameras. City planner David Steele says it’s a force multiplier for the department. As is, license plates are only looked up if the vehicle’s meter is expired.
Steele: “Same thing with stolen, they’re not going to bump into a stolen vehicles unless they are an expired meter. Whereas this allows, when they are driving along looking for expired meters, to hit stolen vehicles or bootable vehicles.”
That means for anyone with four or more parking tickets that have gone to collections, the ALPR can spot it and tell the meter-maid you deserve a boot.
The resolution passed by with little notice from city council, likely because it’s well-laid out. Parking data cannot be kept for longer than 48 hours, and Steele says it’s only kept that long for vehicles that get tickets. The ACLU of Washington hasn’t pointed out any cause for concern with this resolution.

Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio

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