Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Bookmark and Share
File #: 20-0003    Version: 1
Type: Consent - Staff Report Status: Agenda Ready
In control: City Council Regular Meeting
On agenda: 3/17/2020 Final action: 3/17/2020
Title: Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving an Agreement to Vigilant Solutions, Inc. to Install Additional Fixed License Plate Readers for an Amount Not-to-Exceed $280,000 and Appropriate $180,000 from the Unreserved Asset Forfeiture Fund Balance (Police Chief Abell). a) WAIVE FORMAL BIDDING AND APPROVE b) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 20-0001 APPROVING AN AGREEMENT c) APPROPRIATE FUNDS
Code sections: 2.36.140 - Waivers
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20-0001, 2. Agreement - Vigilant Solutions, Inc.


Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council



Bruce Moe, City Manager



Derrick Abell, Chief of Police

Steve S. Charelian, Finance Director

Stephanie Katsouleas, Public Works Director

Gwen Eng, Purchasing Manager

Julie Dahlgren, Senior Management Analyst



Consider Adopting a Resolution Approving an Agreement to Vigilant Solutions, Inc. to Install Additional Fixed License Plate Readers for an Amount Not-to-Exceed $280,000 and Appropriate $180,000 from the Unreserved Asset Forfeiture Fund Balance (Police Chief Abell).


b)                     ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 20-0001 APPROVING AN AGREEMENT

c)                     APPROPRIATE FUNDS



Recommended Action


Staff recommends that the City Council:


1.                     Waive formal bidding per Manhattan Beach Municipal Code (MBMC) Section 2.36.140 (waivers);

2.                     Adopt Resolution No. 20-0001 approving an agreement with Vigilant Solutions, Inc. for fixed license plate readers and installation in an amount not to exceed $280,000; and

3.                     Appropriate $180,000 from the unreserved Asset Forfeiture Fund balance.



The recommended action has no impact to the General Fund. State Supplemental Law Enforcement Services (SLES) grant funds in the amount of $100,000 are currently budgeted and available for this purchase. Staff recommends an additional appropriation of $180,000 from the unreserved Asset Forfeiture Fund balance for the total amount of this purchase.



The presence of community cameras and license plate readers in public areas has been a growing trend in the United States. License plate reader (LPR) technology has proven to be an efficient way for law enforcement to generate investigative leads and locate suspects, helping to preserve and enhance safety in the community.


Fixed LPRs scan the license plates of passing vehicles; the plate information is then automatically checked against a database for existing unresolved violations, wants/warrants, etc. Dispatch then receives an immediate alert of any reported stolen vehicle passing through, as well as vehicles listed as “wanted” in connection with crimes, missing persons, arrest warrants associated with a vehicle, and stolen license plates. Manhattan Beach detectives also have access to the database of license plates to assist them in criminal investigations.


At the November 3, 2015, City Council meeting, staff was directed to report back regarding the feasibility of installing license plate readers at critical points of ingress and egress to the City. The Police Department worked closely with the Traffic Engineer to determine the intersections that carried the highest volume of cars at points of ingress and egress and seven intersections were identified. 


Staff returned to City Council on April 5, 2016, with a report on the feasibility of the project, as well as the proposed locations for the license plate readers, which was approved. At the February 21, 2017, City Council meeting, a contract was awarded to Vigilant Solutions. 


Two of the seven intersections were along the Sepulveda Boulevard corridor (at Rosecrans Boulevard and at Artesia Boulevard), and fall under the jurisdiction of California Department of Transportation (CalTrans). Unfortunately, CalTrans denied Manhattan Beach’s permit applications to install cameras on their infrastructure. Subsequently, the Police Department moved forward with installation of cameras at the other five locations, which were completed in August 2017:


1.                     Artesia and Aviation Boulevard;

2.                     Manhattan Beach Boulevard and Aviation Boulevard;

3.                     Marine Avenue and Aviation Boulevard;

4.                     Rosecrans Avenue and Aviation Boulevard; and

5.                     45th Street and Highland Avenue.


Four of the five intersections have multiple directions being monitored (i.e. traffic east and west bound).  


The LPR system continues to be a positive addition to the Manhattan Beach Police Department’s investigative toolbox. The system has helped to solve or provide important leads on over 100 investigations. Additionally, over 70 stolen vehicles have been recovered, a missing person was found, and over 100 felony arrests were made-including a suspected burglary crew, a package thief, a felony hit-and-run suspect, an attempted murder suspect, robbery suspects, and numerous suspected identity thieves. Many of the vehicles contained burglary tools, stolen property, evidence of fraud (stolen mail, credit cards, washed checks, counterfeit money, etc.), and illegal narcotics; one car had an embosser used to manufacture fraudulent credit cards and six had loaded guns.


During the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget process, City Council directed staff to identify additional street locations to augment the existing fixed license plate readers. On June 4, 2019, City Council also approved Capital Improvement Program funding to erect a City-owned pole on Sepulveda Boulevard on which LPRs can be installed. The City is awaiting final permit approval from CalTrans.


Staff recommends the purchase of 14 additional fixed LPR cameras to be installed at key points of ingress and egress, as well as in the downtown area.  Locations include:


1.                     Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard;

2.                     Valley Drive/Ardmore Avenue and Manhattan Beach Boulevard; and

3.                     45th Street and Highland Avenue.


All of these intersections will have multiple directions being monitored (i.e. traffic north and east bound).


Sharing of LPR Data

Pursuant to the City’s contract with Vigilant Solutions, they may not share any of the data generated by Manhattan Beach without the City’s permission. By policy, the City will not share the data except under very limited circumstances, and only when such sharing directly benefits the City, such as in a criminal investigation (e.g., if a robbery is committed in another jurisdiction and the suspect travels through Manhattan Beach, the City may share ALPR information with that other jurisdiction).


The Police Department will continue to adhere to all federal, state, and local laws pertaining to the use of this equipment. Police Department policy requires that license plate data is stored for one year and then is automatically deleted. LPR data will be stored longer if it pertains to a specific criminal investigation. Manhattan Beach police officers are only authorized to conduct license plate searches for legitimate criminal investigative purposes.


Waiver of Formal Bidding

Staff recommends that this purchase be considered single source and a purchase order be awarded to Vigilant Solutions. Under MBMC Section 2.36.140, the City Council may waive purchasing procedures to fit a specific purchase. Although there are other vendors that can provide acceptable hardware solutions; the software, data sharing capabilities, and investigative analytics are proprietary and can only be obtained directly from Vigilant Solutions, the manufacturer.

Awarding to Vigilant Solutions will maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the project, facilitate data sharing amongst other local law enforcement agencies, and integrate with Manhattan Beach’s current license plate reader system. They are the only vendor that can provide access to the extensive Digital Recognition Network (DRN) commercial database which includes over six billion vehicle location records. Additionally, they have extensive experience implementing and maintaining LPR systems in a vendor-hosted environment.


Other Los Angeles area agencies utilizing Vigilant Solutions include California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Long Beach Police, Port of Long Beach, El Segundo, Torrance, Hawthorne, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates, Rolling Hills, Palos Verdes Estates, Downey, Burbank, West Covina, Glendora, Bell, Whittier, South Gate, Bell Gardens, Azusa, Monrovia, Montebello, Chino, La Verne, Claremont, and Beverly Hills. 


Staff recommends that the City Council waive formal bidding per MBMC 2.36.140 (waivers), adopt Resolution No. 20-0001 approving an agreement with Vigilant Solutions, Inc. for fixed license plate readers and installation in an amount not to exceed $280,000, and appropriate $180,000 from unreserved Asset Forfeiture funds.

Prior to installing the first fixed license plate readers in 2017, information about the license plate reader project, as well as opportunities to learn more about the project and comment on the project, were publicized via Nixle, Facebook, and press release. A community meeting was conducted and feedback was also solicited via Open City Hall. Staff determined that additional public outreach was not needed for this issue.

The City has reviewed the proposed project for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and has determined that the project qualifies for a Class 1- categorical exemption pursuant to Section 15301- Existing Facilities, of the State CEQA Guidelines, since the project is a minor alteration of existing public structures and equipment involving negligible expansion of use. Thus, no further environmental review is necessary.

The City Attorney has approved the agreement as to form.


1. Resolution No. 20-0001
Agreement - Vigilant Solutions, Inc.