LICENSE PLATE READER EPD 412.02TITLE
LICENSE PLATE READER (LPR) / PROCEDURE NUMBER
OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES/ NUMBER OF PAGES
3/ EFFECTIVE DATE
10/22/2014 / REVIEW DATE
X NEW AMENDS RESCINDS
/ CALEA CHAPTERS
41, 61/ AUTHORITY
Chief Stephen Walker
1. PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to outline the procedures for training and use of license plate scanning technology.
2. POLICY: It is the policy of the Department to utilize technology in the furtherance of law enforcement efforts to locate and apprehend criminal suspects while enforcing traffic laws. The Department will ensure that the use of such technologies should not intentionally compromise legitimate privacy concerns of law abiding citizens.
A. LPR - a License Plate Reader is a device that uses cameras and computer technology to compare digital images of license plates to lists of known license plates of interest.
B. LPR Data – is information obtained from an LPR including images of the license plates and vehicles on which they were displayed. This will include information regarding the date, time and location they were viewed by the LPR.
C. Hot List – information pertaining to license plates associated with vehicles of interest compiled from several data bases.
D. LPR Operator – a sworn member of the Department trained and approved by the LPR Coordinator to operate approved LPR equipment.
4. LEGAL PROCESS:
A. The device operates by downloading hot lists and then creating a list of potential wanted vehicles or vehicles of interest.
The list is loaded into the processor of the device. The device is either mounted in a vehicle or mounted in a fixed position and captures images of licenses plates that come into view and compares them to the lists of vehicles either wanted or of interest.
The device alerts the operator of potential matches and the source database that provided the license plate for use in the device.
B. The LPR operator, upon receiving an alert, will then initiate a query to the appropriate database in order to obtain more detailed information regarding the reason that the vehicle is of interest to law enforcement.
5. LPR COORDINATOR:
A. The Chief will designate an LPR Coordinator, who will:
1. Train personnel in the proper set up and use of the LPR equipment.
2. Maintain a list of authorized user/operators.
3. Serve as a liaison with partner agencies including the Maryland State Police Mobile Systems Unit, Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, Council of Government (COG) and LPR vendors.
4. Coordinate all required updates and the maintenance of LPR equipment.
6. OPERATOR RESPONSIBILITIES:
A. LPR operators will maintain and ensure the physical security of the equipment. LPR equipment will not be left in the passenger area or mounted to the exterior of a vehicle when unattended for long periods of time (i.e. parked at the officer’s residence overnight, during extended periods of repair and maintenance).
B. LPR operators will not make any modifications to the hardware or software of the LPR system.
C. LPR operators will not contact LPR vendors, or any agency listed herein, without the approval of the LPR Coordinator.
D. Operators will notify the Coordinator of any LPR equipment maintenance needs.
E. In the event an LPR alert directly leads to an arrest, the LPR operator will perform a manual export by printing the data and placing it in the case file. The LPR Coordinator will be notified as soon as practicable.
7. DEVELOPMENT OF VEHICLE LICENSE PLATE HOTLISTS:
A. Prior to each use, the operator will ensure that the LPR unit is properly networked with the Maryland State Police server and that the most recent hotlist has been installed.
B. If an automatic hotlist download can not be obtained, the LPR operator will obtain the most recent hot list via a manual FTP download from the Maryland State Police server.
C. Hot Lists will contain data obtained from:
1. NCIC stolen vehicle, stolen tag, temporary wanted felony vehicles, wanted persons’ files, terrorist watch and sexual offender registry.
2. Maryland MVA records of suspended drivers, suspended registration, license plate confiscation orders, and possible wanted persons.
3. Any additional data deemed of interest to law enforcement and included in the hotlist complied by the Maryland State Police, to include, but not be limited to: Amber, Silver and Blue Alerts.
D. At no time will LPR equipment be used with an installed hotlist that is greater than 24 hours old.
E. Local hotlist entries with a legitimate law enforcement purpose may be made by individual operators. The operator will be solely responsible for the clearance of the lists on a daily basis.
8. APPROVED USE:
A. LPR equipment can be deployed by approved operators for the following purposes:
1. Enforcement of Maryland Vehicle Laws
2. Enforcement of municipal parking ordinances.
3. Canvass of areas in which felony is in progress and/or a crime of violence has just occurred, to include the immediate area as well as likely escape routes from the area.
4. Proactive patrols of areas likely to identify information valuable to criminal investigations and/or threats to homeland security and areas identified in agreements with other jurisdictions.
5. With the Chief’s approval, sobriety checkpoints, and scheduled targeted enforcement details.
6. Any additional circumstances deemed appropriate by the Chief to enhance public safety or perform law enforcement duties.
9. LIMITATION OF USAGE:
A. Only certified officers with authority to access NCIC and MVA files via METERS system may operate an LPR. Security of hotlist data will be consistent with existing rules and regulation and federal and state laws pertaining to the use and dissemination of the information contained in the specified databases.
B. The hotlist does not contain real time data, thus any alerts received from the system will be confirmed via a METERS terminal prior to taking any law enforcement action.
C. any covert deployment of LPR units must be specifically approved by the Chief or a designee.
10. DATA RETENTION AND OWNERSHIP:
A. All LPR data is to be used for official law enforcement and homeland security purposes only.
B. All LPR data remains the property of the Department and the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center, which will be responsible for all retention, auditing, and reporting as required.
11. LPR DATA SEARCHES:
A. LPR data may be accessed for law enforcement investigative or homeland security purposes only.
B. A request for LPR data must include a case number for which the request is being made and must be approved by the requestor’s supervisor.
C. A request for LPR data must be made to the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center in compliance with their established policies.
12. AMBER – SILVER – BLUE ALERTS
A. Upon notification of the issuance of a specified alert by the Maryland State Police, it is the operator’s responsibility to perform the following:
1. Immediately enter the license plate associated with the issued alert into their LPR to determine the presence of a previous read of that license plate. If the operator determines that the LPR has previously read that license plate, the location of that previous read will be obtained and transmitted to PSC for the dispatch of officers to that location.
2. Proceed to a heavily traveled area, such as a state highway or intersection to perform either stationary or mobile patrols to increase the probability of encountering the vehicle associated with the issued alert.
END OF DOCUMENT