September 16, 2010
New Technology Enhances Visitor Safety
In early August, the suspected presence in Yellowstone of escaped prison inmates and their accomplice made national news. These fugitives, two of whom are charged with committing brutal murders during their flight, effectively evaded authorities for weeks. It was later confirmed that at least one of the fugitives had, indeed, traveled through Yellowstone. If Park rangers had state-of-the-art technology available to them, these fugitives may have been apprehended much sooner.
This wasn’t the first time individuals fleeing from law enforcement have decided that the vast wilderness of Yellowstone seemed like a good place to hide. But in the near future, fugitives from justice will be up against new technology in Yellowstone.
Federal Signal, a global leader in the design and manufacture of communications and security systems, has contributed its Automated License Plate Recognition system to Yellowstone National Park. Donated through its subsidiary PIPS Technology, this system -- valued at $100,000 -- will greatly assist the ranger division with law enforcement efforts.
The state-of-the-art camera and software system will photograph vehicle license plates as cars enter the Park. Then this information is instantly downloaded and cross-referenced against national databases with information on known or suspected felons and license plate numbers of stolen vehicles. Best of all, if a match is made, dispatchers are automatically and immediately notified. Once the dispatcher has quickly double-checked that the information is correct and current, the rangers on patrol where the vehicle was spotted are notified.
Another significant application would be in the case of AMBER Alerts in the region, when a child is missing. In these situations, the ability to communicate information and act quickly is of the utmost importance.
The partnership represents the first time that Federal Signal/PIPS Technology’s expertise and products are being applied in a remote area like Yellowstone National Park.
The new system, which is being installed this month and should be fully operational later this fall, will ultimately make the visitor experience safer in Yellowstone.
Learn more about how the Automated License Plate Recognition system works from this news video on YouTube>>