License plate readers coming to Holmes Beach

HOLMES BEACH – It’s official, a five-camera license plate recognition system is coming to the city, costing $105,240 for 5 years, not including $40 per month for wireless internet service to each camera.

Holmes Beach Police Chief Bill Tokajer presented the quote for the system from Vetted Security Solutions LLC out of St. Petersburg for the Vigilant camera system. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project but also said that outside of the monthly charge for wireless internet access, any costs over the $105,240 will have to come back before commissioners for approval. The approved agreements include the purchase and installation of the cameras and related system, software to run it and five years of maintenance for the entire system.

Commissioners also voted unanimously to approve a LPR system user agreement with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that Tokajer will have to bring back before them annually for approval. The user agreement allows FDLE to access the LPR system’s records with cause in the event of a crime taking place on the Island or officers believing a suspect may have been on the Island before or after the crime was committed.

The LPR system reads everyone’s license plates, but it only sends an alert to officers in certain situations, such as a suspended driver’s license, the registration is more than a month or so out of date, the vehicle is stolen, or the owner has an outstanding warrant. Tokajer said police also will be able to pull the recordings from certain time periods to help solve crimes that occur on the Island.

“It’s a beneficial tool for law enforcement,” he said. “This system brings us up to date with current technology.”

Commissioner Jim Kihm said he would like to see reports regularly that show commissioners how the system is being used by police and how it’s helping to reduce crime in Holmes Beach.