Automatic license plate readers

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a bill this week that gives law enforcement clear direction on how to report data they collect using automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). ALPRs are devices placed in a fixed location or mounted on a police car that scan license plates and notify law enforcement if vehicle is stolen or connected to someone who might be wanted for a crime, or driving with a suspended, revoked, or cancelled driver’s license.

The legislature passed laws regulating the data collection of data from ALPRs in 2015. One law included a provision requiring law enforcement organizations to submit an audit of the use of ALPRs and data collected every two years. The first round of audits were submitted to the Department of Administration in 2017, and the quality of audit reports varied widely. Some audits were very thorough, while others did address whether the law enforcement agency was complying with state law.

The bill clarifies what data needs to be reported in the audit and that audits must be completed by an independent auditor, either public or private. The bill will next be heard on the Senate floor. (SF 2922)