Automated License Plate Readers

The Newton Police Department is adopting Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology to enhance law enforcement efforts in our community. Research indicates that over 70 percent of crimes involve the use of a vehicle, making ALPR a valuable tool for detecting, solving, preventing, and deterring crime in a fair and impartial manner. This technology has become a standard practice across the nation, yielding successful outcomes for thousands of law enforcement agencies.

how ALPR works

ALPR systems automatically capture images of license plates and compare them against databases containing information on vehicles of interest to law enforcement. These databases include the Stolen Vehicle System (SVS), National Crime Information Center (NCIC), Wanted Persons System (WPS), Missing and Unidentified Persons Systems (MUPS), as well as vehicles associated with Amber and Silver Alerts.

When a vehicle of interest is identified, patrol officers receive an immediate alert containing a picture of the vehicle, details on why it's wanted, and its last known location and direction of travel.

The benefits to our community are significant:

  • Recovering Stolen Vehicles: ALPR helps locate stolen vehicles entering the city.
  • Assisting in Felony Investigations: It identifies vehicles wanted in connection to felony crimes.
  • Providing Investigative Leads: ALPR provides leads into crimes committed within the city.
  • Supporting Amber/Silver Alerts: It detects vehicles associated with missing or at-risk persons.

ALPR Policy/Privacy Rights

  • ALPR cameras are only deployed on public roadways, never on private property.
  • There's no live video streaming, and the cameras are not used for surveillance purposes.
  • ALPR cameras solely capture images of vehicles, not individuals.
  • Facial recognition technology is not utilized, and personal identifiable information such as names, addresses, and dates of birth is not recorded, retained, or shared.
  • Access to ALPR data is restricted to authorized users within the Newton Police Department and can only be accessed for official law enforcement purposes.
  • Data is not stored beyond 30 days unless associated with a criminal investigation, after which it is permanently deleted.

This technology ensures the safety and security of our community while upholding the rights and privacy of our residents.