The Nassau County Police Department could cover the “back-end” maintenance costs of license-plate readers if the Village of Munsey Park chooses to buy them, a police official said last Wednesday.
Munsey Park is still considering whether to install license-plate-reader cameras to the village entrances after presentations last year from two security firms.
If the village chooses to buy the cameras, police department servers would store data they collect at no cost to the village, but the village would have to pay for the cameras and their upkeep, according to a presentation by Det. Lt. Kenneth Strigaro, commanding officer of the police department’s technical services section, and Inspector Daniel Flanagan, commanding officer of the 3rd Police Precinct.
“If the village were to invest, it’s something that we would use and is quite helpful,” Strigaro said.
Strigaro told residents the data would not end up online and that license plate data would only be stored for three years. He called the technology “one tool in a large toolbox.”
All of the data the cameras collect is sent directly to the police department, but the hard part is determining who does and doesn’t live in the village, Strigaro said.
If the police department stores the data, it can only be used for active investigations, Strigaro said.
“One of the concerns is that the community wants to hold on to the data,” he said. “It’s a slippery slope of letting people know who is driving around the neighborhood.”
The license plate readers the police department uses, manufactured by the Brewster, N.Y.-based company Elsag, is 95-percent accurate, Strigaro said.
Residents expressed reservations, saying they believed current license plate reader technology used by the police department would be sufficient.
Another resident asked if the cameras could push crime from Munsey Park to other nearby villages in Manhasset.
Flanagan told them this technology would deter crime.
“Every plate reader is a force multiplier to make your community safe,” Strigaro said.
Haggerty mentioned the village is still in the early stages evaluating the license plate readers. Village officials are unsure about pricing and still need more information, he said.
“We need complete picture in front of us,” he said. “It’s still early days.”