Boston Police ALPR data

Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Boston Police Department of Boston, MA.
Status
Completed
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Communications

From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

A log/database of all BPD automated license plate reader (ALPR) reads from January 2007 to the day this request is processed. Please include whether the read resulted in a hit/alarm, whether the hit/alarm was accepted, which hotlist(s) the hit/alarm corresponded to, whether the hit/alarm resulted in a vehicle stop, and whether the stop resulted in a citation, arrest or other action.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as we believe this request is in the public interest, as suggested but not stipulated by the recommendations of the Massachusetts Supervisor of Public Records. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

I expect the request to be filled in an accessible format, including for screen readers, which provide text-to-speech for persons unable to read print. Files that are not accessible to screen readers include, for example, .pdf image files as well as physical documents.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Shawn Musgrave

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Estrada, David

Please see attachment.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi,

The attachment would not open. Could you please resend as a word or PDF file.

From: Estrada, David

From: MuckRock.com

Editor's note: Appeal sent to Supervisor of Records.

From: Boston Police Department

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn, please see the attachment & let us know how if you would like to proceed with the request. Thank you

From: Shawn Musgrave

Mr. Estrada,

Thank you for the response. A couple of questions:

-How far back do the ALPR records go?
-Could you provide a more detailed breakdown of the costs involved with processing this request, in particular the format of the records? In my experience ALPR data is electronic and exportable, so 12 hours seems like a considerable amount of time for search and segregation.

Thank you.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn,

1. The records go back 90 days for the Motorola system and back to December 2012 for the now decommissioned ELSAG system.

2. Telecommunications estimates about 6-8 hours for redaction of non-public information from the electronic files (the images as well as the plate numbers), and 6-8 hours to put the files in .pdf format so that they cannot be altered.

Please let me know how you wish to proceed.

From: Estrada, David

From: Shawn Musgrave

David,

We will pay the required amount for the data. Please begin work on fulfilling the request.

Thank you for your help.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Thank you, we have begun work on your request.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David --

Will this data include (a) whether a particular scan registered a hit/match to a hotlist, and (b) whether any citations were issued as a result of that match?

Thanks,
Shawn

From: Secretary of the Commonwealth, Public Records Division

A letter stating that the request appeal has been succesful.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Estrada, David

It is my understanding that the data to be produced will include hits to a hotlist, but will not contain follow on data to indicate whether a citation was issued as a result of any hits.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

I just consulted with my team here at MuckRock, and I wanted to clarify what you meant in your 1 May 2013 email:

"2. Telecommunications estimates about 6-8 hours for redaction of non-public information from the electronic files (the images as well as the plate numbers), and 6-8 hours to put the files in .pdf format so that they cannot be altered."

First, it seems to us that redaction of non-public information should comprise deleting a column/columns from the dataset, and should not entail the amount of time indicated.

Second, the MGL does not allow you to charge for conversion of data to a new format, as this is the creation of a new document. Please send the redacted data in its native format, and send an updated fee estimate without this 6-8 hours of conversion work.

I will call this afternoon after 4pm (when your receptionist indicated you would be in) to review these two items.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn,

Please see the modified ALPR research cost (attached).

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

We've just dropped the check in the mail. Please let me know if you don't receive it in a few days, and confirm receipt when it does arrive.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Will do, thank you.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

We never received confirmation that the check was received, and it has been a couple of weeks. Will the data be sent soon?

Thank you,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn,

Check was received and went to our cashier for processing. I've been communicating with the individuals who are responsible for fulfilling the request and expect a response within the next couple of days.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

Checking in again on the ALPR data. Will it be sent over soon?

Thanks,
Shawn

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

Checking in again on the ALPR data.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn,

Sorry for the delay, info attached.

Editor's Note: The Boston Police department has indicated some information was erroneously released. The requester has elected to have MuckRock remove certain sensitive, potentially personally identifiable information and documents while awaiting a properly redacted copy of the documents. This communication included two of those deleted documents: A 218-page PDF and a 1261-page PDF.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello David,

Thank you for sending these. Is this data available in spreadsheet format, as we discussed?

As I mentioned in my email of 13 June 2013, MGL requires the provision of records in native format when possible. While you've provided me the documents in PDF form, I am confident that this data was originally either CSV, Excel or another electronic data format.

Thank you,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn, Sorry for the delay, info attached.

Editor's Note: The Boston Police department has indicated some information was erroneously released. The requester has elected to have MuckRock remove certain sensitive, potentially personally identifiable information and documents while awaiting a properly redacted copy of the documents. This communication included two of those deleted documents: A 218-page PDF and a 1261-page PDF.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

I'm not sure if you meant to attach other files, but all I see are the same two PDFs. Is there a .csv, .xls or other electronic data file, as we discussed?

Thanks,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn, Excel attached. Thank you

Editor's Note: The Boston Police department has indicated some information was erroneously released. The requester has elected to have MuckRock remove certain sensitive, potentially personally identifiable information and documents while awaiting a properly redacted copy of the documents.

This communication included one redacted document. MuckRock has redacted all personal license plates and personally identifying information from this data. For this sheet, that includes both license plate number and notes — the latter column indicates why a particular plate registered a match to police databases, and in many cases includes a description of the vehicle.

This communication also included one document that would not open as sent, and has thus been deleted entirely.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

The second file you sent (2013 FOIA #5 ALPR Muckrock Musgrave(2) Info) is not in a valid format, and cannot be opened. Please resend?

-Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn, Let me know if either of these work. Thank you

Editor's Note: The Boston Police department has indicated some information was erroneously released. The requester has elected to have MuckRock remove certain sensitive, potentially personally identifiable information and documents while awaiting a properly redacted copy of the documents.

This communication included one of those redacted documents. MuckRock has redacted all personal license plates and personally identifying information from this data. For this sheet, that includes both license plate number and notes — the latter column indicates why a particular plate registered a match to police databases, and in many cases includes a description of the vehicle.

This communication also included one document deleted in its entirety since redaction of personal information proved overly burdensome.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hi David,

Thank you for resending. I'm able to open the second spreadsheet now, but it does not have a column for date of scan or type of hit against the hotlist, both of which are in the first file. Was there additional info exported from the ALPR software that was deleted from the second spreadsheet? If not, is it possible to send another spreadsheet with the date of each scan? I'm confident the software has that capability.

Best,
Shawn

From: Estrada, David

Hi Shawn,

I sent your question along, just waiting to hear back.

Thank you

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Mr. Romanoski,

Per our conversation by phone and given the omission of a date column in the previous responsive data for my records request, please send:

A database of all BPD automated license plate reader (ALPR) reads for the past 90 days from the day this request is processed, including date and time information for all reads.

Thank you,
Shawn Musgrave
MuckRock

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello,

I wanted to emphasize that my records request remains uncompleted, for reasons outlined below. This is not a discretionary media request for information, but a records request under MGL, with which your department is required to comply. Please provide the requested data immediately, or I shall have no choice but to submit a second appeal to Secretary Galvin's office for this information.

Best regards,
Shawn

From: Shawn Musgrave

Supervisor of Public Records:

It has been more than six months since BPD indicated that they would release the requested data in this case after I appealed to your office. Please follow up and verify why they have not released the data as is their duty under MGL.

Thank you,
Shawn Musgrave

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Shawn Musgrave

Supervisor of Records
Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth
McCormack Building, Room 1719
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108

December 19, 2013

To Whom It May Concern:

The Boston Police Department has yet to fulfill this request for ALPR data as agreed in the attached letter, despite confirmation from the Bureau of Public Information that it is available within the legal division.

Please advise as to how the Supervisor of Records intends to work with the department to ensure that it fulfills its obligations under MGL to respond to records requests.

A hard copy of this communication has been sent to the Supervisor of Records at the address above. Please confirm receipt of both copies.

Best,

Shawn Musgrave

From: Shawn Musgrave

Hello all,

I will emphasize once again that this request has not yet been completed, nearly a year after it was originally submitted. BPD has yet to fulfill its obligations under MGL in response to records requests, as the copy of the data released to me was incorrectly redacted. That the copy sent to me by BPD staff was redacted in such a manner as embarrassed the department is immaterial to the fact that I have yet to receive the data as agreed in numerous correspondence, which I trust both the Supervisor of Records as well as the BPD Bureau of Public Information and Legal Unit have on file.

Once again, I request the expedient release of ALPR data as agreed.

Respectfully,
Shawn Musgrave

From: Shawn Musgrave

Mr. Williams:

I have yet to receive any acknowledgement of my appeal on this request, which is overdue by several months and already subject to one review by your Division. Please advise.

Best,
Shawn

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 9, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Rastellini, Patricia (SEC)

Received and acknowledged.

From: Rastellini, Patricia (SEC)

Dear Mr. Musgrave,

I just spoke with Sgt. McCarthy at BPD and he stated he emailed yesterday regarding your outstanding requests including the one below.

Thank you,

Patricia

From: Sgt. McCarthy

Shawn

Attached are the redacted versions of the ALPR data requested. Please confirm receipt and I will close out your FOIA request (MuckRock ID #2481)

Best,

Sgt. McCarthy

From: Shawn Musgrave

Sgt. McCarthy:

Thank you for sending the data. I now consider this request, including the SPR appeal, to be completed.

Ms. Rastellini:

Please close my appeal with the Supervisor of Public Records, as BPD has completed this request.

Thank you,
Shawn

From: Rastellini, Patricia (SEC)

Thanks Mr. Musgrave.

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