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City Council Approves Use of Grant Funding for Purchase of More License Plate Readers, Other Equipment for Terrorism Mitigation

Published on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 | 5:33 am

The City Council unanimously approved on Monday the recommended use of the $716,705 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant funds awarded to the city as part of a nationwide program to improve and enhance emergency response capability for terrorist-related activity.

The Pasadena Police Department will receive $601,705 of the total grant funding, which will be used for purchase of anti-vehicle barriers, automatic license plate readers (ALPRs) and an infrared camera system for a helicopter.

Pasadena Police Acting Commander William Grisafe said the bulk of the grant funding that will go to the police department, $460,000, will be used for the infrared camera system for a helicopter.

About $77,000 will be allotted for the purchase of anti-vehicle barriers while about $168,000 will be used for purchase of ALPRs.

Grisafe said the additional ALPRs will be used to help secure Rose Bowl during events.

“Last year the Council approved three intersections to be outfitted with ALPRs, [these were] additional cameras that were to be set up to help secure the Rose Bowl,” Grisafe said.

ALPRs automatically capture all license plate numbers that come into view, along with the location, date, and time. The data, which includes photographs of the vehicle and sometimes its driver and passengers, is then uploaded to a central server.

Some local residents have railed against its use in the past. In 2015 state lawmakers increased privacy protections for drivers and established strict rules including who has access to the information collected by automatic license plate readers and how police can use it.

But in 2020, the state auditor revealed that a review of ALPR policies in the Los Angeles, Fresno, Marin and Sacramento police departments revealed some troublesome results.

As part of the grant, the Fire Department will also receive $100,000 for Search and Rescue Equipment and training, while the Public Health Department will receive $15,000 for a consultant to help in developing a BioWatch Exercise.

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