|Policy Title||Use of Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) System|
|Responsible Office||Office of the Vice President for Operations|
|Policy Type||Safety and Security|
|Last Revision Date||8/1/2023|
Binghamton University allows the use of Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) through a transparent process, subject to applicable rules governing operations, permissible uses, equipment installation and employment, and use of the resulting recorded material.
ALPR technology, also known as License Plate Recognition, provides automated detection of license plates. The ALPR system is used by NYS University Police Department (NYSUPD) as an effective intelligence tool to capture and convert data associated with vehicle license plates for specifically identified, official law enforcement purposes; namely, criminally-related investigations, stolen or wanted vehicles, stolen license plates, wanted persons, missing/ endangered persons, vehicles with known associated exclusions to the Binghamton University campus, or threats to persons or property.
This policy is specific to the ALPR system used by NYSUPD for law enforcement purposes and is unrelated to similar technology used for parking access control and enforcement which is governed by a separate policy.
Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR)
A device that uses cameras and computer technology via optical character recognition to automatically read license plate characters and compare digital images to lists of known vehicle information of interest (hot lists).
Trained NYSUPD personnel who may search the ALPR system or equipment include the Chief of Police, Assistant Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, Investigators or Lieutenants.
The Chief of Police (or designee) is the ALPR Administrator and charged with ensuring the ethics and integrity of the process and ensuring that all ALPR operators are appropriately trained.
ALPR cameras including those that are permanently or temporarily affixed in their positions, such as to a structure, pole, or traffic barrier.
The technology system, including ALPR equipment and additional technology services hosted by the ALPR system vendor, that captures images (ALPR data) of a vehicle’s characteristics (including license plates) and compares the characteristics to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or data entered by law enforcement agencies which may result in a Hit.
Captured images produced from the ALPR system. ALPR Data may be downloaded and housed in the University Police secure data repository.
Alert from the ALPR System that a scanned license plate may be in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or other law enforcement database for being related, but not limited to: criminal investigations, stolen or wanted vehicles, stolen license plates, wanted persons, missing/endangered persons, vehicles with known associated exclusions to Binghamton University’s campus (including any related protection orders), or threats to persons or property.
Data that includes license plate numbers of stolen vehicles, stolen license plates, wanted person(s) with a license plate associated with those records. This term also includes, but is not limited to, national data (i.e., NCIC) for similar categories, license plates associated with AMBER alerts or missing persons/ vulnerable adult alerts, and can include manually entered license plate information associated with crimes that have occurred in any local jurisdiction or other investigative targets.
These lists are not tied to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and will not include vehicles with administrative issues such as expired or suspended registrations, unpaid fines, etc.
- ALPR Operation
Use of the ALPR system is restricted to the purposes outlined in this policy. NYSUPD personnel shall not use, or allow others to use, the ALPR system, ALPR equipment, or ALPR data for any unauthorized purpose.
- The ALPR system shall only be used for collecting ALPR Hits for investigations related
- Criminal activity;
- Stolen or wanted vehicles;
- Stolen license plates;
- Wanted persons;
- Missing/endangered persons;
- Vehicles with known associated exclusions from Binghamton University’s campus (including any related protection orders); and/or
- Threats to persons or property
- Traffic flow/volume data (raw vehicle numbers – no plate data)
An ALPR Operator would be required to submit a case number and reason for inquiry into the system for any search.
An ALPR Hit may be used in conjunction with any patrol operation or official NYSUPD investigation as outlined above. The ALPR Hit can be used as one element in developing reasonable suspicion or probable cause.
No member of NYSUPD shall operate ALPR equipment or access the ALPR system or ALPR data without first completing NYSUPD approved ALPR training.
ALPR Operators (Chief of Police, Assistant Chief of Police, Deputy Chief of Police, Investigators, and Lieutenants) are the only individuals authorized to have full access and search capabilities in the ALPR system. All other University police personnel may receive hit notifications automatically through the system, however, they will not have access to search the system.
- The ALPR system shall only be used for collecting ALPR Hits for investigations related to:
- Data Collection and Retention
The Chief of Police (or designee) is responsible for ensuring systems and processes are in place for the proper collection and retention of ALPR data. The ALPR vendor is contractually obligated to store the data and ensure proper maintenance and security of data stored in its data towers. The ALPR vendor is required to purge all data at the end of thirty (30) days of storage. However, this will not preclude NYSUPD from maintaining any relevant vehicle data from the system related to active police investigations after the thirty days pursuant to relevant NYS retention schedules.
The ALPR is not permitted to share or sell ALPR data. The ALPR vendor is prohibited by NYSUPD policy and by contract, from sharing or providing access to any ALPR data collected by or with NYSUPD to any other entities.
- Impermissible Uses
The ALPR system, and all data collected, is the property of the NYSUPD. Authorized personnel may only access and use the ALPR system for official and legitimate law enforcement purposes consistent with this policy. The following uses of the ALPR system are specifically prohibited:
- Invasion of privacy – except when done pursuant to a court order, legally binding subpoena or legally binding search warrant, it is a violation of this policy to utilize the ALPR to record license plates except those of vehicles that are exposed to public view on campus roadways.
Harassment or intimidation – it is a violation of this policy to use the ALPR system to harass and/or intimidate any individual or group.
Use based on a protected characteristic – It is a violation of this policy to use the ALPR system or associated data or hot lists solely because of a person or group’s race, gender, age, religion, political affiliation, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sexual identity, disability, veteran’s status, or other classification protected by law.
Personal use – It is a violation of this policy to use the ALPR system or associated data or hot lists for any personal purpose.
First amendment rights – It is a violation of this policy to use the ALPR system or associated data or hot lists for the purpose or known effect of infringing upon First Amendment rights.
Employees - Use of the ALPR system to evaluate employees, monitor their performance, or track their attendance is strictly prohibited.
All authorized personnel must complete training on ALPR Systems and data prior to active use and be provided with all applicable University policies and procedures. Training must include:
How to use the ALPR technology;
Knowledge and understanding of the University’s ALPR policy and procedures; and
Applicable laws and privacy protections
Violations will be dealt with in accordance with applicable University policies and procedures. Failure to comply with university policies may result in sanctions relating to the individual's employment (up to and including termination of employment in accordance with applicable University policy and collective bargaining agreements); civil or criminal liability; or any combination of these.
- Accountability / Abuse
Any perceived misuse of the ALPR system may be reported to any of the following: the Chief of Police, Human Resources, University Counsel, Internal Audit, Risk Management or the Fraud Hotline (607-777-5049) for review and resolution. Misuse of the APLR system may result in criminal, civil and administrative actions.
The University Director of Internal Audit will audit the use of the system on an annual basis to review access rules, inquiry logs, configuration, and to confirm active individual accounts.