RANTOUL — The village board will be asked to approve the leasing of nine additional license plate readers Tuesday night — bringing the total in the community to 34.
In September the board approved a new five-year contract with Flock Safety.
Police Chief Tony Brown said the nine additional readers would bring the five-year contract total for the 34 readers to $428,350 — $88,500 a year.
In June 2021, Rantoul became the first Champaign County community to contract for the license plate readers.
Brown said the village does not disclose the location of the readers.
He said the results stemming from installation of the readers more than two years ago have been better than expected.
“They’ve been a very good tool to assist us in reducing gun violence in the community,” he said.
“We’ve been able, with some shootings that we’ve had going on and homicides, even use the Flock cameras to assist us in identifying or confirming what vehicles were involved,” Brown said.
License plate readers helped to identify a vehicle carrying two occupants involved in a Fourth of July shooting that wounded several people just two weeks after the readers were installed.
Deleon Moffett, 18, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Abram Drive, was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated battery with a firearm.
Another man in the vehicle, Teigan Hunt, 19, of Urbana, pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon for his role in the shooting and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Among those hit were girls ages 7 and 15, whose injuries were more serious than those sustained by two 25-year-old men and a 41-year-old man.
Brown also credited the readers for helping police to locate Shirley L. Webb, 27, of Memphis in May on a Shelby County, Tenn., parental abduction case warrant for felony custodial interference. Two juveniles in a vehicle with Webb were taken into protective custody.
One of the juveniles had been reported as missing/endangered to the Memphis police.
Brown said one of the main reasons his department wanted to install license plate readers was the village was experiencing a number of incidents of shots fired.