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 Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR)

 Tiled Heroes


Sequoias Community College District CA PD Transparency Portal​​​​​​​​​​In April 2023, the Sequoias Community College District Police Department installed a total of six ALPR cameras at the Visalia campus, eight on the Tulare campus, and six on the Hanford campus with the goal to help solve and reduce crime. The cameras are built and installed by Flock Safety the public safety technology company that helps neighborhoods, communities, and law enforcement work together to fight crime. The cameras send a real-time alert to law enforcement when a stolen car or known wanted suspect from a state or national crime database is detected. They also send alerts if a vehicle associated with a missing person in an AMBER or Silver Alert is detected. 

The ALPR system also helps law enforcement solve crime by providing the objective evidence needed for investigations. 

According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 7 in 10 crimes are committed with a vehicle. 

ALPR cameras capture license plates and vehicle characteristics, not people or faces. Each search requires a justification, and the data is never sold or shared with third parties. The cameras are used to solve and reduce property and violent crime, and are not intended for minor traffic or parking violations. ALPR cameras are in use in thousands of cities across the country, and Flock Safety works with over 2,000 police departments. Communities using Flock Safety ALPR have reported crime reductions of up to 70%. 

What is ALPR? 

Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) have long helped law enforcement solve crimes. ALPR's capture computer-readable images of license plates, allowing law enforcement agencies to compare plate numbers against those of stolen cars or cars driven by people suspected of being involved in criminal activities. The information by ALPR cameras can help determine whether a vehicle was at the crime scene and discover cars that may be associated with each other. Law enforcement agencies can choose to share their information with other agencies. The cameras can also integrate data from national or state crime databases to provide real time alerts when a vehicle associated with a known suspect or a stolen vehicle passes the camera. 

ALPR Flock Safety communities have reported overall crime reductions of over 70 percent after a period of time utilizing the ALPR system. In some areas, that included a 60 percent-plus reduction in non-residential burglaries, an 80 percent reduction in residential burglary, and a 40 percent-plus reduction in robberies. 

What is Flock Safety? 

Flock Safety is a public safety operating system that helps cities, businesses, schools, and law enforcement in thousands of communities work together to stop crime, protect privacy, and mitigate bias. We build hardware and write software that captures the objective evidence police need to solve crimes. Thousands of communities across the country use our proprietary devices and cloud-based software to help law enforcement solve upwards of 5 percent of all reported crime in America. 

How do ALPR's help promote transparency and objectivity in policing? 

Flock Safety ALPR technology is purpose-built to remove human bias from crime solving​. The ALPR cameras and machine learning technology are engineered to capture vehicle characteristics, types, and license plates, which are then checked against state and federal records to ensure accuracy and minimize errors. Because license plate readers do not collect information on who is driving or riding in the vehicle, it is not considered Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Our technology does not capture images of pedestrians or passersby. The ALPR cameras take still images of cars passing through the lens (not video) and cannot follow or track vehicles once they leave the camera’s view.

ALPR's will never record names, phone numbers, or addresses and doesn’t mark specific locations where people have been. There is no capability in the system to mark or annotate the locations of passersby. 

Finally, Flock Safety ALPR's are built to enable and encourage transparency, with several features that create robust audit capability. Both private and law enforcement customers must enter a reason for each search made through the Flock Safety system. That search history can be easily displayed for a community or law enforcement leadership to see what the ALPR's have been used for.​ 

Sequoias Community College District CA PD Transparency Portal​