by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner –

After Harrison County Sheriff Troy Peterson reported his monthly inmate total to the county at their monthly meeting Monday, June 5, 2023 in Gulfport, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved authorizing advertisement for a solar and mobile license plate readers for the Sheriff’s office.  Once the board acknowledged no reverse auction bids were received on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 for the new license plate readers to the Sheriff’s department, the county authorized re-advertisement for a term bid.

The license plate technology system has been around for more than a decade, but subdivisions are apparently gravitating towards these through homeowners associations according to a few Harrison County officials.

Automated license plate recognition technology, such as solar or mobile readers, is an important tool in a police department’s arsenal, helping agencies solve crimes more efficiently than ever before. Since the use of license plate reader technology is relatively new in the United States, opportunities, and obstacles in its use in law enforcement are still under review.

According to the Rand Corporation’s research study on safety and justice, the license plate reader system, which has portable units, captures the image of a vehicle, and compare its plates against “hotlists” that show an array of infractions in which it may be involved or reasons why it may be of interest to authorities. After an alert is issued, the officer can then investigate the license plate of interest and decide whether to take further action.

Not only can the system alert officer with this actionable information, but it can also provide photos of the car or truck in question. This technology shows more pictures of vehicles than any single officer possibly can, and the information generated may also be stored in databases, allowing investigators potentially to analyze these data for open investigations of serious crimes.

Before the advertisement was approved, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors approved an order to spread upon the minutes a document about the Mississippi Leadership Council’s review on an Aging Grant for the Sheriff’s Office TRIAD program in May.

District 3 (Pass Christian, Long Beach, West Gulfport) Supervisor Dr. Marlin Ladner was absent from the board meeting due to representing Harrison County in Washington, D.C. on the Mississippi Sound Coalition for the Gulf Coast.  The coalition is speaking out on diversion projects instead of opening the Bonnet Carre Spillway.