Shawn Musgrave filed this request with the Lynn Police Department of Lynn, MA.


From: Shawn Musgrave

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the state Freedom of Information Act, G.L.M. c.66, §10, I hereby request the following records:

All documents relating to usage of Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology by Lynn Police Department, including but not limited to documents indicating:

-scope of ALPR deployment;
-purposes for which ALPR technology is employed;
-means of handling and storing ALPR data;
-extent and timeline for ALPR data storage; and
-protocols and extent of ALPR data sharing between LPD and other government agencies.

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, 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.


Shawn Musgrave

From: Shawn Musgrave

Lt. Coleman:

At the direction of Deputy Chief Santoro, I'd like to request the following documents:

-a copy of Lynn Police Department's policy with respect to use of automated license plate readers (ALPR);
-any documents such as contracts, sales quotes, budget allocations or similar documents related to LPD's purchase of ALPR equipment and training.

Thank you for your help with this request.

Best regards,
Shawn Musgrave

From: Santoro, Kenneth

Mr. Musgrave,
Attached please find our response to your Public Records request.


To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Nov. 17, 2012. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Coleman, Skip

This is the Policy you requested

From: Requests Muckrock

Lt. Coleman,

The attachment is another copy of the November 19 letter I received
from Deputy Chief Santoro. Could you please send the ALPR policy?

Shawn Musgrave

Filed via
E-mail (Preferred):
Daytime: (617) 299-1832

For mailed responses, please address (see note):
MuckRock News
PO Box 55819
Boston, MA 02205-5819

PLEASE NOTE the new address as well as the fact that improperly
addressed (i.e., with the requester's name rather than MuckRock News)

From: Lynn Police Department


Department Manual: Policy No. 22
Subject: Automated License Plate Reader System
Effective Date: August 15, 2011
Issuing Authority: Kevin F. Coppinger, Chief of Police


In cooperation with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), the Lynn Police Department (LPD) is committed to enhancing public safety on our roadways. Our combined mission is to reduce fatalities, injuries, and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes. The LPD recognizes that motorists who are driving unlicensed, with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, or uninsured pose a threat to law-abiding citizens. Typically these drivers only encounter law enforcement when observed violating a traffic law or are involved in a crash. The use of Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) systems gives law enforcement a tool to proactively detect a motor vehicle driven by an unlicensed and/or revoked operation and many other violations.


The availability and use of ALPR systems have provided many opportunities for the enhancement of productivity, effectiveness, and officer safety. It is the policy of this Department that all members abide by the guidelines set forth herein when using ALPR system.


22.3.1 ALPR: Automated License Plate Reader.

22.3.2 Read: Digital images of license plates and
vehicles and associated data that are
captured by the ALPR system.

22.3.3 Alert: A visual and/or auditory notice that is triggered when the ALPR system receives a potential “hit” on a license place.
22.3.4 Hit: A read matched to a plate that has previously been registered on an agency’s “hot list” of vehicle plates related to stolen vehicles, wanted vehicles, or other factors supporting investigation, or which has bee manually registered by a user for further investigation.
22.3.5 Hot List: License plate numbers of stolen cars, vehicles owned by persons of interest, and vehicles associated with AMBER Alerts that are regularly added to “hot lists” circulated among law enforcement agencies. Hot list information can come from a variety of sources, including the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS), the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), as well as national Amber Alerts and Department of Homeland Security watch lists. These lists serve an officer safety function as well as an investigatory purpose. In addition to agency supported hot lists, users may also manually add license plate numbers to hot lists in order to be alerted if and when a vehicle license plate of interest is “read” by the ALPR system.


22.4.1 General
· The use of ALPR systems is restricted to public safety-related missions of this Department.
· ALPR systems and associated equipment and databases are authorized for official public safety purposes. Misuse of the equipment and associated databases, or data, may result in sanctions and/or disciplinary actions.
· ALPR systems and ALPR data and associated media are the property of this Department and intended for use in conducting official business only.

22.4.2 Administrative and Technical Support

· Administrative Support: There shall be an ALPR System Administrator to oversee the Department’s ALPR program. The Captain in charge of the Patrol Division shall serve in this capacity. His duties shall include:
o Ensuring that the ALPR system is used only for appropriate Department business and in accordance with this policy;
o Monitoring the use of the ALPR and schedule periodic audits;
o Recommending updates to the ALPR policy;
o Keeping informed of legal decisions, trends, and case law concerning ALPR’s;
o Coordinating with the Records Office in terms of maintenance and retention of data.

· Technical Support: The Sergeant in charge of the Traffic Unit shall be designated as the program Technician. In his absence, the Lieutenant in charge of the Management Information Systems (MIS) may assist as needed. The duties of the Technician shall include:
o Training designated officers in the proper operation of the system;
o Documenting those trained as Technicians and Operators and reporting this information to the Training Unit.
o Providing periodic equipment checks to ensure functionality and camera alignment;
§ Any equipment that falls outside expected functionality shall be removed from services until repaired.
o Assist Patrol Division staff as needed.

22.4.3 Maintenance and Retention of Data

· The Lieutenant in charge of the Record Office shall be responsible for the maintenance and retention of data used and created by the ALPR system. His duties shall include:
o Establishing protocols for access, collection, storage, and retention of ALPR data and associated media files;
o Establishing protocols to preserve and document ALPR “reads”, “alerts” and “hits” that are acted on in the field or associated with investigations or prosecutions, and
o Establishing protocols to ensure the security and integrity of data captured, stored, and/or retained by the ALPR system;
o Data should be retained in accordance with applicable laws.

22.4.4 ALPR System Usage

· ALPR operation and access to ALPR collected data shall be for official business only.
· Only officers who have been properly trained in the use and operational protocols of the ALPR system shall be permitted to use it.
· At the start of each shift, operators must initiate the “Start Shift” process in order to sync the database with the most current hot lists available. Similarly, at the end of each shift, the “End Shift” process must be initiated. Further instruction in these processes will be covered during operator training.
· The ALPR is designed to shut down when the cruiser is turned off. Users should activate the “PAGIS” icon when the cruisers are restarted.
· ALPR Alerts/Hits: Prior to the initiation of a vehicle stop, operators should:
o Visually verify that the vehicle plate number matches the plate number run by the ALPR system, including both alphanumeric characters of the license plate and the state of issuance;
o Verify the current status of the plate through Dispatch or MDT query when circumstances allow;
· In each case in which an alert or hit is triggered, the user should record the disposition of the alert and the hit into the ALPR system if possible;
· Hot lists may be updated manually if the user enters a specific plate into the ALPR system and wants to be alerted when the plate is located. Whenever this is done, the officer should document the reason.
· Requests to use the ALPR during nontraditional deployments, i.e. special operations or criminal investigations, must be approved by the Administrator. In his absence, requests may be forwarded to a Deputy Chief or the Chief.

22.4.4 ALPR Data Sharing and Dissemination

· ALPR data should be considered “for official use only” and shared for legitimate law enforcement purposes only.
o When ALPR data are disseminated outside the Department, it should be documented accordingly.
o Information sharing among agencies should be done in accordance with established department policies and protocols.