It was a full agenda for members of the Escalon City Council on Monday night, Sept. 18, gathering in regular session in the council chambers on McHenry Avenue.
Among the items discussed, Police Sgt. Anthony Hardgraves, standing in for Chief Gus Flores, reported on the department’s use of an Automatic License Plate Reader, ALPR. For the month of July, the most recent month figures were available for, there were 441,272 license plates read and 62 ‘hits’ including 61 that came back as stolen license plates and one stolen vehicle. In that instance, the report noted, if only one license plate is missing and reported as lost or stolen, it typically means one license plate remains on the victim’s vehicle.
Hardgraves told the council that the cameras were installed in late June and began capturing data at that time, with the department gaining access to the data a couple of weeks later.
The cameras are new to the EPD, Hardgraves noted in his report to the council, but have already proven to be useful.
In one case, he said, an officer was searching for a subject with an outstanding warrant from the department.
“The license plate for the vehicle she was associated with was discovered, and utilizing ALPR records,” the reported noted, the officer was able to see the vehicle he was looking for.
He later located the vehicle in town and arrested the suspect on the warrant. Following the arrest, officers located identity theft materials for at least 45 victims, as well as counterfeit U.S. savings bonds and check forging materials in the vehicle.
Hardgraves said most of the identity theft victims were determined to be in the Modesto area.
He also presented the police department activity report for August, which included four grand or petty thefts, two burglaries and two stolen vehicles, along with two domestic violence incidents.
The council also reviewed monthly reports including the treasurer’s report, recreation report, public works, development services, building department, water department and wastewater treatment department reports.
The council heard from City Manager Dominique Romo regarding the possible appointment of a council member to serve as the Escalon representative on the Ad Hoc Animal Shelter Subcommittee in cooperation with the City of Oakdale, which handles Animal Control Services for Escalon. Romo, who has been attending the meetings so far, said she would continue in that capacity until the council decided to appoint someone to the post.
City resident Kristi Pruden stepped to the podium under administrative matters, as she and her husband Doug had previously requested an opportunity to discuss the possibility of installing speed bumps and stop signs on Deborah Circle. Concerns over speeding vehicles in the area prompted the request; the council agreed to do more investigation and review options at a future meeting.