Recently, security systems integrator Plate Capture Solutions Inc. (PCS) decided to replace more than 100 law enforcement clients’ — including the Mt. Lebanon Police Department in Pennsylvania — vehicle recognition systems with PlateSmart ARES ALPR. The change came in handy when police in the Western Pennsylvania town used PlateSmart Technologies’ ALPR system to help them stop a potential domestic terrorism threat.
An AI-based enterprise-grade ALPR and vehicle recognition solution, PlateSmart ARES is a software-only, camera-agnostic solution that can integrate with existing security infrastructure.
According to reports, Kurt James Cofano was seen on social media making imminent threats to “blow up” the Treasury Department in Harrisburg, Pa., before attacking CIA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and getting “gunned down.” He also reportedly made threats against Black Lives Matters protesters in Pittsburgh.
In response, the Whitehall Borough (Pa.) Police Department issued a be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) bulletin for Cofano’s car. On June 9, the PlateSmart ALPR/vehicle recognition system alerted the Mt. Lebanon (Pa.) Police Department (MLPD) of Cofano’s vehicle and location. Authorities made a traffic stop, and during Cofano’s arrest, the MLPD found 30 improvised bombs in his vehicle along with numerous weapons, homemade detonators and chemicals used in making explosives.
“The best law enforcement technology is the kind that prevents crime proactively, because it keeps officers and citizens alike safe,” he said. “And that’s the whole reason I started PlateSmart. Stopping Cofano from detonating a single bomb, much less the 30 he was carrying, or shooting a single individual undoubtedly validates the technology.”
“Any terrorist has to pick a site to attack,” John Chigos, PlateSmart founder and CEO said. “Most don’t come right out and say, ‘I’m going here,’ like Cofano did. Instead, they often ‘case’ the potential target by circling it in a vehicle or parking nearby for extended periods of time. These behaviors stick out, and they’re something our technology can easily identify and alert law enforcement and augment other intelligence they may have gathered.”