License plate scanners will monitor Freehold Mall visitors, check against databases

New scanners have been installed at the Freehold Raceway Mall to record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the property. License plate

New scanners have been installed at the Freehold Raceway Mall to record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the property.

New scanners have been installed at the Freehold Raceway Mall to record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the property. (8/16/13)

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP - New scanners have been installed at the Freehold Raceway Mall to record the license plates of all vehicles entering and leaving the property.

License plate readers will check plate numbers against law enforcement databases.

The mall is the first in the state to use these kinds of scanners for homeland security.

"It basically allows us to check for wanted persons, stolen cars, terrorist watch lists, suspicious drivers, that sort of thing," says Freehold Township Police Lt. Dean Smith.

Police say they have been using this type of technology in their patrol cars for years. The overhead system just makes their job easier and quicker.

Freehold Township police and the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office say this location was chosen by them due to the high volume of people and the potential for the mall to be a target of terrorism. A major telecommunication hub is also on the property.

But some shoppers think this is just another example of "Big Brother" stepping in. "I don't have anything to hide but I do feel it's a constant invasion of my privacy," one shopper told News 12 New Jersey.

Police say the scanners should be up and running in about a week. The devices were funded by a $285,000 Homeland Security grant.

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