Initially launched and deployed in December 2007 after the City of Santa Clarita committed to the purchase of two of these specially equipped vehicles during the 2007 fiscal year budget, the systems are now in full swing and have resulted in an increased level of safety and more efficient utilization of patrol resources from your Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Since the initial launch and commitment of the City of Santa Clarita in 2007, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has utilized other funding sources in recent months to acquired additional ALPR equipped vehicles which are now being used throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. In fact, we currently have six such vehicles deployed at any given time and are hoping to expand the program in coming months and years. "We are excited about the success of this new technology now being used by our Santa Clarita Sheriff's Station to help protect our community," said Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar. "As we have always done, we will continue to look at and evaluate new technology and systems that will assist our deputies and first responders in keeping the City of Santa Clarita a safe place to live, work, and play," he added. The Automated License Plate Reader technology consists of a number of cameras mounted to the patrol vehicle that have the capability of automatically reading and checking vehicle license plate numbers in vicinity of the patrol car. Not only do these cameras add an extra deterrent to those who are considering coming into the area to commit unlawful activities, but they also automatically identify and check license plates of nearby vehicles parked on the roadways, driving in the opposite direction of the patrol car, driving or parked near our schools, in our business districts, and in our many parking lots. In fact, this new equipment can automatically run a check on more than 1,000 license plates in an hour's time as the deputy drives around town, answering calls for service and conducting other duties. That's nearly 8,000 license plates during an 8-hour shift, when the average deputy can only check 30 to 50 license plates during the same time frame when manually inputting the numbers. Checks are even run on license plates of passing and nearby vehicles while the deputy is parked. The system automatically alerts the deputy to any vehicle that has been entered into the system as wanted or stolen by any law enforcement agency from any jurisdiction. It can also be used in various ways in conjunction with other law enforcement systems; aiding in such things as identifying vehicles belonging to registered sex offenders near our schools, identifying vehicles belonging to registered arsonists, and even AMBER Alert vehicle detection. Since the new patrol vehicles were put into service last December in the City of Santa Clarita, they have automatically processed nearly half-a-million license plate numbers throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. As a result of this new technology, more than 25 stolen vehicles have been recovered. The system has also directly contributed to the investigative efforts and solving of substantial criminal cases in the Santa Clarita Valley. Four of those cases are outlined as follows: On Tuesday, January 8, 2008, a gang-related drive-by shooting occurred on Deeptree Avenue near Lone Rock Street, Canyon Country. Through additional investigation and follow-up, detectives were able to identify a potential suspect vehicle and license plate number. Utilizing the ALPR system, detectives were able to obtain additional identifying information about the vehicle.