Just weeks following two hate-fueled attacks in New Square and Monsey, Gov. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $680,000 in funding to help pay for license plate readers in Rockland County.
The readers, one which was used to catch the man who attacked a group of Jewish worshipers on Dec. 28, will be used to enhance security and further protect Rockland communities, the governor said.
The attacker used a machete to attack six people, leaving a 72-year-old man in a coma with a fractured skull.
Grafton Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, in Orange County, who has been charged with attempted murder in Rockland, pleaded not guilty Monday, Jan. 13, to federal hate crimes in U.S. District Court in White Plains.
"This new technology will enhance security in vulnerable communities and serve as a deterrent for future attackers," Cuomo said during a visit Monday to Rockland.
The money will be used for the village of New Square and Monsey.
Automated license plate readers are high-speed, computer-controlled camera systems that are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses, mobile trailers, or police squad cars.
A license plate reader on the George Washington Bridge was critical in tracking the alleged Monsey attacker, ultimately leading to his capture.
This technology automatically captures all license plate numbers that come into view, along with the location, date, and time.
The data, which includes photographs of the vehicle, is then uploaded to a central server and relayed to police agencies across a wide area.
The expanded Hate Crimes Task Force will evaluate requests from other municipalities for similar technology.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.