Page 101 - Security Today, July/August 2020
P. 101

"Parking systems generally involve relating a permit or ticket to a vehicle in a lot. How this happens and what information can be derived from this depends on the type of system in place."
By Stephan Kaiser
Monroe Community College (MCC) in New York State has 5,500 parking spaces spread across 20 campus lots. The college recently imple- mented an ALPR system that allowed them to move away from physical permits. Now, using online permit registration, the college saves $18,000 a year because they no longer print and issue physical permits.
Why Go Gateless?
In addition to moving away from physical permits, some campuses also choose gateless or frictionless solutions. These solutions give parking managers insight into who is parking in their facilities and for how long, as well as information on frequency and turn-over. This enables campuses to better manage their facilities.
At the same time, those parking on campus also benefit from a gateless system. Students and faculty members have a seamless expe- rience when they don’t have to stop to grab a ticket or wait for a gate to rise. They simply proceed directly to a parking spot and, from there, to class on time.
Keep track. Stay safe.
With an LEP system, a college or university places LPR cameras at lot entrances and exits and is then able to use the data collected to alert security staff about unwanted vehicles on campus. Once the LPR camera reads a vehicle’s plate, the ALPR system then automatically compares that read with hotlists of people who have been banned from campus and scofflaw lists of vehicles that are of interest to law enforcement.
MCC recently equipped one parking enforcement vehicle with a mobile LPR camera for the specific purpose of identifying scofflaws. As a result, they were able to realize a 750 percent increase in scoff- law-identification over their previous, manual identification process.
Additionally, the information collected through the ALPR system can be used during forensic investigations. Because security staff have a record of the arrival and departure of vehicles on campus, they can associate that information with incidents. When the ALPR system is unified with a security platform that includes other data streams, the system can correlate video and access control information together with license plate reads to provide an even greater understanding.
During a string of burglaries at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, campus security used ALPR data to search for a pattern in vehicles parked near the crime scenes. The vehicle belonging to the thief was identified and tagged in the system for monitoring purpos- es. When it showed up on campus again, the ALPR system alerted staff. Local law enforcement was then contacted, and the suspect was apprehended.
Covering 10 Times More Ground
Moving to LEP systems that use ALPR helps enforcement staff improve their efficiency and cover more ground. In the past, parking enforcement officers would walk through parking lots to visually ensure that the proper permits were displayed in each vehicle. This process was time-consuming and prone to human error. On some campuses, officers were also responsible for identifying vehicles with unpaid fines, a task that was extremely difficult to do.
Placing an LPR camera on an enforcement vehicle speeds up the parking enforcement process and greatly increases accuracy. The cam- era scans the surrounding plates and alerts the officers to any vehicle that is unauthorized or has exceeded its allowable time. For example, at BYU, parking enforcement vehicles mounted with mobile LPR cameras can cycle through the campus’ 60 parking lots several times each day.
The Impact of ALPR Technology on Administrative Tasks
For colleges and universities, issuing permits is a key component of their parking management strategy. These can include both long and short-term options. Traditional permit management systems involved issuing physical permits and relied on manual identification for park- ing enforcement.
At the beginning of each semester, students have to register for a parking permit. The tasks associated with applying for, verifying and printing permits were cumbersome and caused administrative back- logs at the beginning of every term.
With an ALPR system, students can apply for their permits online using their license plate numbers. Some campuses also allow visitors to apply for their permits online. This streamlines the process and significantly reduces administrative costs.

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