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Atlantic City Receives $1.4M for License Plate Reader Technology

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Posted on: February 21, 2024, 10:58h. 

Last updated on: February 21, 2024, 10:58h.

Atlantic City has received nearly $1.4 million from the state to purchase and install 120 Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) cameras. The technology assists law enforcement in keeping Atlantic City’s streets safe.

Atlantic City license plate reader New Jersey
An Automated License Plate Reader is seen surveilling license plates. Atlantic City has received state funding to install 120 license plate readers. (Image: Flock Safety)

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin (D) announced the grant last week. The casino hub of the East Coast will receive over $1.1 million from the state Department of Community Affairs and approximately $273,000 from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to strengthen the town’s license plate reader network.

The residents of Atlantic City, its thousands of workers, and its millions of visitors deserve to feel secure where they live, work, and play,” said David Rebuck, executive director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director (DGE). “The targeted capabilities of this technology will reinforce security in a city that remains a premier destination on the East Coast for casino gaming and sports betting.”

Colonel Patrick Callahan, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, says ALPR assists in identifying, locating, and recovering stolen vehicles, interrupting auto theft networks, apprehending individuals involved in vehicle theft, and other violent crimes. Such technology also allows police to more quickly locate missing persons and to track Amber and Silver alerts involving children and the elderly.

Casino Corridor Safety

Atlantic City’s casino industry in recent years has called on state and local government to better secure the gaming beach town. Even the most basic of security elements such as placing new bulbs in burned out street lights has taken much longer than it should, casino execs say.

After crime eased during the pandemic, Atlantic City has experienced a return in unlawfulness. Aggravated assaults rose 11% last year, while robberies climbed 2.5%. Seven people were murdered, one more than in 2022.

Don’t look to Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. to take the blame.

The finger shouldn’t be pointed at anyone, shouldn’t be pointed at the mayor, shouldn’t be pointed at the police chief,” Small said last month. “We are not out there shooting guns.”

The state, which retains governance of the city over eight years after Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) administration seized control of the bankrupt city amid the closing of five casinos, is taking action to better protect Atlantic City.

“Atlantic City is an iconic part of our state, and I am grateful for the current and ongoing support of the Department of Community Affairs, the CRDA, and the NJSP as we work together to make it a safer place for our residents and visitors,” said Platkin.

Small did issue a statement on the ALPR money, saying the technology “is one of many game changers” designed to thwart crime.

Slow Start

Atlantic City’s nine casinos saw their gaming revenue from in-person play slow to begin 2024. January win from physical slot machines and table games totaled $205 million, a 3.1% decline from January 2023.

Casinos face an uncertain future in Atlantic City. After seemingly stabilizing in recent years, with the market capable of supporting nine casinos, lawmakers in Trenton are considering legislation to end indoor tobacco smoking on the gaming floors.

Casino executives say a smoking ban would cost thousands of jobs and likely result in at least one resort closing.

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