Alton votes to install license plate reading cameras on the Clark Bridge

ALTON, IL – Alton Mayor Brant Walker expects four license plate reading cameras to be installed on the Clark Bridge soon.  He said it’s possible the cameras could be operating by Thanksgiving.  The camera plan was approved by the Alton City Council Wednesday night.

City leaders said the cameras are only used to detect license plates that are connected to felonies.  They will not be used as traffic or read light cameras.  Alton officials point to how the cameras have been used in St. Louis as one reason to believe they will be successful.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police report its 23-fixed license plate reading cameras have resulted in more than 400 arrests and more than 1,000 charges during an approximately 28-month period.

“This is a technology that s been used by other law enforcement agencies and it has been proven to be a very, very effective deterrent and also an effective crime stopper,” said Walker.

Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons has toured the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Operation and said he was impressed.  He believes the cameras will help law enforcement protect citizens.

“We have numerous cases in the past where we have people coming over here in stolen vehicles and people coming over here committing armed robberies in our communities and other communities in the Riverbend area,” said Simmons.  “This is a way for us to combat that.”

The cost of the cameras is approximately $40,000 with some added annual maintenance costs.  The cost is expected to be shared between Alton, Godfrey and the Madison County State’s Attorney.