CCPD POLICY ON AUTOMATED LICENSE PLATE READERS
DISCLAIMER: The following FAQs and summaries were produced by the Policing Project, a non-profit organization. Although based on official policies of the Camden County Police Department, they do NOT represent official CCPD policy, practice, custom, or procedure. These FAQs and summaries should not be treated as complete or comprehensive. To read the official CCPD policy in full, view them here or click the blue button on each summary page.
What is an automated license plate reader (ALPR)?
ALPRs are a system of cameras that automatically take photographs of vehicle license plates, compares those plates to a list of license plates that CCPD is looking for (a “BOLO list”), and notifies CCPD when there is a match.
Can an ALPR take a photo of a license plate anywhere?
An ALPR can only be used on the license plate of a vehicle that is exposed to public view, such as on a public road or street, in the parking lot of a business, or on private property if the license plate can be viewed from a public place.
What is a BOLO list of license plates?
A BOLO list, or “be on the look out” list, is a list of license plates is kept by CCPD to identify or locate a particular vehicle or a person believed to be connected to that vehicle. A license plate may only be placed on a BOLO list for reasons that are legitimate and specific to a law enforcement purpose, such as to find:
Persons with an outstanding arrest warrant, a restraining order, or a court-issued curfew;
Missing persons, including children (“Amber Alert”) and persons with mental disabilities (“Silver Alert”);
Vehicles believed to be stolen, involved in a crime or traffic violation, or registered to and operated by someone with a suspended or revoked license;
Persons of interest in a specific law enforcement investigation; and
Persons watch-listed by another law enforcement agency.
What happens when an ALPR finds a match on the BOLO list?
An officer responding to an ALPR alert for a license plate match must make a reasonable effort to confirm that the wanted person is actually in the vehicle before the officer is permitted to make a stop. The officer must also determine why the license plate was placed on the BOLO list and if there are special instructions before taking any action.
How long does CCPD keep ALPR data?
ALPR data is retained for five years and then purged from the department’s database.