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Lathrop may add cameras that can read license plates
Council decides Monday

Smile – the Lathrop Police Department could soon be watching.

While the agency is already preparing to move into a new River Islands facility, the first ever constructed in the city solely for law enforcement use, they could soon have an array of new tools to both combat and prevent crime across the city if the Lathrop City Council gives its blessing.

On Monday, Feb. 11, the council will consider the creation of a capital improvement project that would outfit the city with a series of cameras that will provide surveillance for law enforcement entities and assist existing crime prevention efforts by incorporating new technologies – like license plate readers – into the fold.

The Lathrop City Council meets inside of the council chambers at Lathrop City Hall – located at 390 Towne Centre Drive – on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m.

The current plan calls for the installation of camera systems at four strategic locations – Harlan Road and Louise Avenue, Golden Valley and River Islands Parkways, Harlan and Lathrop Roads, and Golden Valley Parkway and Lathrop Road once the intersection is signalized. The four locations handle the majority of the city’s traffic and would serve as a gateway for many vehicles traveling into or out of the city.

With Motorola’s recent acquisition of one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of license plate readers, the proposed cameras would be able to scan license plates and alert the authorities if a car is stolen or being driven by somebody reported as a missing person or suspected of committing a serious crime.

According to the staff report, the city currently uses Motorola cameras for the limited existing surveillance that the city has deployed. The city has already tested a new camera from the company utilizes technology that allows for it to cover multiple lanes of traffic with a single lens.

The proposal would also include the purchase of a mobile trailer capable of performing the same tasks with the added benefit of being deployable to strategic locations as needed.

The proposed cost of outfitting each intersection with the necessary cameras is currently $30,500, and the total cost for the proposal – which would outfit six locations in the city including the mobile trailer – would be $250,000. An additional $175,000 needed for electricity and wireless service at each of the camera locations – and the purchase of additional mobile surveillance equipment as needed – is also being included in the proposal for a total cost of $425,000.

City staff is requesting that $250,000 be appropriated from existing Measure C funds while the $175,000 contingency, which includes the cost of installation and potential future expansion of the system, come from existing salary savings.

For additional information about the proposal, to view the staff report, or to see a copy of the Lathrop City Council’s upcoming agenda, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.