Blue Line

Sudbury police to buy Automated Licence Plate Recognition technology

March 17, 2023  By Mia Jensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Mar. 17, 2023, Sudbury, Ont. – With the support of a provincial grant, Sudbury police will be acquiring new technology that will allow officers to automatically check vehicle licence plates on the road.

At their monthly meeting this week, the Greater Sudbury Police Services board approved a motion to enter into an agreement with Axon Public Safety Canada to acquire $612,433 worth of tech.

From the company, Greater Sudbury Police will procure 31 In-Car Cameras with Automated Licence Plate Recognition technology, which will be deployed to patrol vehicles, including those in the traffic division.

“This represents approximately half of our marked operational fleet,” the police said in a report to the board.

The one-time funding from the province, which will be received sometime this year, will cover the cost of the project.

ALPR tech uses cameras and software to capture licence plate information and automatically compare plate numbers to a Ministry of Transportation database. The system allows officers to immediately acquire vehicle and vehicle owner information, while also flagging vehicles of interest, including amber alerts, stolen vehicles, expired plates, or plates registered to suspended drivers.

“This is a very good news story for us,” said Sharon Baiden, chief administrative officer for Greater Sudbury Police. “We’re going to be deploying ALPR to the majority of our frontline vehicles.”

The motion grants Axon Canada sole source supplier authority.

Last year, Axon was also granted authority as the sole supplier of the police service’s digital evidence management system through, which can interact directly with the new camera systems. Axon will also supply for body-worn cameras, which have not yet been deployed by Greater Sudbury Police.

“They provide us with a direct tie into the digital evidence management, which is critical in terms of the data evidence that’s captured, that it can have a seamless upload into our digital evidence management platform,” said Baiden.

Now that the project has received approval, plans are in place to purchase the units, with implementation expected in the fall of 2023.

“I want to stress the word recognition, in particular, for the traffic division,” said board member Gerry Lougheed. “License readers will help with regard to going past a Costco or Walmart, you can read 700 cars in four and a half minutes. This police service is actually one of the first in Northern Ontario that actually purchased that. It’s really nice to see that others have followed our lead. This is a great innovation.”

– The Sudbury Star

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