ALPR File Photo

Ten automatic license plate readers, like the one pictured above, are operating in the town of Los Altos Hills, with more on the way. 

The first 10 automatic license plate readers are now active across Los Altos Hills.

Part of a pilot program approved last April to address a spike in crime, the 10 cameras were installed in November and December. According to Cody Einfalt, town management analyst, the remaining 30 cameras should be up and running by the end of January.

Einfalt has been working with security company Flock Safety to schedule installation of the solar-powered cameras.

“Because it’s such a big number, they said that they really couldn’t do all 40 before the new year,” he said. “We prioritized 10 to get in before the new year.”

The cameras will be active for 60 days before the city council makes a final decision as to whether to commit $120,000 annually to operating the technology on a more permanent basis.

“Before the 60 days are done, we have to have a city council meeting to review the system,” Einfalt said.

The stated goal of the program is to collect license plate information to help the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office with “identifying stolen and wanted vehicles, recovering stolen property and gathering crime-related information.” License plate information will be cross-checked with law enforcement lists of stolen vehicles, automatically notifying the Sheriff’s Office if the system detects any matches.

Residents who don’t want their license plates recorded may opt out by filling out a form on the city’s website and providing their vehicle registration and proof of address in Los Altos Hills. To opt out, visit tinyurl.com/2p8mea6a.

Data collected by the system will be deleted after 30 days as long as it is not associated with an investigation.

The town’s Emerging Technology Committee will develop criteria for a review of the cameras. Los Altos Hills resident Rajiv Bhateja proposed the program to the city council last February.

“These systems have proven their effectiveness as a deterrent and an investigative tool in a number of cities in the Bay Area and beyond,” Bhateja said. “Hopefully, they will deter criminals from targeting our town and help keep us safer.”

Currently operating cameras are located at intersections on Arastradero, Purissima and Fremont roads.

For the full list of current and future locations, visit

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