Barrington considers installing cameras to read license plates

Barrington police soon could have an additional tool at their disposal to help catch suspected criminals.

The village board is expected to vote Feb. 13 on a plan to install license plate reading cameras at 12 locations in town, where they would take snapshots of passing vehicles to capture their make and model, license plate information and any unusual or unique features.

Under the proposal, Barrington would sign a two-year, $70,250 contract with Atlanta-based Flock Group Inc. for the cameras, which are solar-powered, motion-activated and work in all weather conditions.

Police Chief David Dorn said the system would read the plate and, if the vehicle has been reported stolen or there is a warrant associated with it, a real-time text would be sent to a watch commander.

The Flock cameras also would be linked to the FBI's National Crime Information Center federal and state hotlists, which are updated at least every 24 hours.

The cameras also are integrated with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Amber Alert database.

Dorn said the cameras could prove useful in a situation such as the one his department dealt with Sunday, when several vehicles from the Motor Werks of Barrington auto dealership were stolen.

"It will give you real-time intelligence," he said.

Barrington would become just the latest suburb to install license-plate readers. Others include Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Schaumburg, Libertyville and Roselle.

The Illinois State Police since 2021 have installed nearly 300 readers on Chicago-area expressways in response to a rash of shootings.

Barrington Police Chief David Dorn
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