The purpose of this Directive is to establish policy and procedures for the use and oversight of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office’s access to Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) data.
I. Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office to utilize ALPR technology only for official and legitimate law enforcement purposes, with the goal being to increase the efficiency of serving justice in a manner that safeguards the legitimate privacy concerns of law abiding citizens. Personnel may use the ALPR system for official use only.
A. Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR): A device that uses cameras and computer technology to record digital images of license plates and their respective locations at the time they are recorded, and to compare license plate numbers to lists of known plates of interest.
B. Plate: License plate(s) associated with vehicles of interest related to wanted persons, missing persons, persons of interest, or vehicles of interest.
C. Detection: Data obtained by an ALPR of license plates within public view that were read by the device, including potential images of the plate and vehicle on which it was displayed, and information regarding the location of the reader at the time of the ALPR read.
D. Hit: Alert from the ALPR system that a scanned license or queried plate number may be in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or other law enforcement database for a specific reason including, but not limited to, being related to a stolen car, wanted person, witness, missing person, domestic violence protective order, or terrorist-related activity.
E. Hot Plate: Request to the database for notification or alert when a specific license plate is identified at any recorded location.
A. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office shall not employ or deploy any Automated License Plate Readers.
B. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office may access data collected by Automated License Plate Readers operated by other agencies and entities. This data will be primarily accessed for the purposes of locating witnesses who are likely to be summoned to testify in a criminal proceeding, locating witnesses for whom subpoenas commanding their appearance in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding have been issued, locating abducted children, or locating persons for whom an arrest warrant has been issued. This data may also be accessed as otherwise needed for the investigation and prosecution of cases by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
C. No civilian or sworn member shall use or authorize the use of any ALPR database information for any reasons other than official law enforcement purposes.
D. A positive Hit when a plate is queried under the ALPR Program does not establish probable cause to take any action. With the absence of exigent circumstances the Hit information/data must be confirmed prior to taking any related law enforcement action.
IV. Roles and Responsibilities
A. General Use
a. ALPR database information may be accessed for official law enforcement purposes, including:
i. Locating witnesses who are expected to be summoned to testify in a criminal proceeding, locating witnesses for whom subpoenas commanding their appearance in a criminal or juvenile court proceeding have been issued, locating abducted children, or locating persons for whom an arrest warrant has been issued.
ii. Locating stolen vehicles and vehicles otherwise connected to criminal cases.
iii. Canvassing areas surrounding locations where crimes have occurred to capture vehicle license plates that may be connected to crime scenes.
iv. Other uses as approved and documented by an appropriate supervisor.
B. ALPR Agency Manager
a. The Assistant Chief Criminal Investigator, or designee, will act as the ALPR database access agency manager and is responsible for the following:
i. Approving user access to any ALPR databases to which the Office has access.
ii. Conducting periodic audits of user queries of ALPR data.
a. Users accessing ALPR data are governed by the County’s information security policies, and must minimally complete DOJ CLETS Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) security training, and be authorized to access CJIS and CLETS data.
b. Whenever a query is made to an ALPR database, the user must record the case number or other identifiable information in the database to so that the purpose of the query can be identified.
c. Any data printed or downloaded from any ALPR database shall be secured in the case file or booked into evidence. Any compromise of the security of this information must immediately be reported to the agency manager.
d. If an error is discovered in any data received from an ALPR database provider, the user shall advise the agency manager. The agency manager will then notify the ALPR database provider of the existence of the error.
D. Sharing Data
a. The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office does not employ or deploy ALPR equipment, and therefore it does not possess ALPR scans or other related data to share with other agencies or entities.
b. Any data obtained from the ALPR database shall not be sold, nor shall it otherwise be shared or transferred to any person not authorized to possess such information.
E. Hot Plates
a. Hot Plates added to any database by an ALPR user will have an expiration date of no longer than 30 days.