The IACP Technology Center assists law enforcement agencies in planning and effectively deploying technology to meet their evolving operational needs through research, training, technical assistance, standards development, professional development, advocacy, and outreach. The operational technologies addressed by the IACP Technology Center include Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD)Records Management Systems (RMS),Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR), In-Car Cameras, Red Light Cameras, Digital Video Evidence Standards, Biometric Identification Technologies, and other enforcement technologies.
Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are increasingly adopting automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technologies to enhance their enforcement and investigative capabilities, expand their collection of relevant data, and expedite the tedious process of manually comparing vehicle license plates with lists of stolen, wanted, and other vehicles of interest. ALPR systems function to automatically capture an image of the vehicle’s license plate, transform that image into alphanumeric characters, compare the plate number acquired to one or more databases of vehicles of interest, and alert the officer when a vehicle of interest has been observed, all within a matter of seconds.
IACP conducted research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice regarding ALPR implementation among law enforcement agencies and has just released the final report from the study. The report, Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR) Systems: Policy and Operational Guidance for Law Enforcement, (4 MB) is now available online.
ALPR technology is a significant tool in the arsenal of law enforcement and public safety agencies. Realizing the core business values that ALPR promises, however, can only be achieved through proper planning, implementation, training, deployment, use, and management of the technology and the information it provides. Like all tools and technologies available to law enforcement, ALPR must also be carefully managed. Policies must be developed and strictly enforced to ensure the quality of the data, the security of the system, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and the privacy of information gathered. Additional information and resources regarding ALPR can be found on the IACP-sponsored ALPR webpage.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police passed a resolution about ALPR technology during the 2007 IACP Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana:
"This resolution strongly encourages the U.S. Congress to fully fund license plate reader and related digital photographing systems, including interrelated information sharing networks, for the northern and southern borders of the United States and encourages all countries to use like technology, to the extent possible, to share appropriate law enforcement information."
In response to the growing implementation of License Plate Readers in law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. and around the world, the IACP, through the LEIM Section, has developed a Privacy Impact Assessment Report for the Utilization of License Plate Readers (PDF) for law enforcement. Published September 2009, the report assesses privacy issues that may emerge as LPR systems are implemented and license plate information is captured. The report is designed to evaluate the impact LPR systems can have on the public's privacy interests and to make recommendations for the development of information management policies intended to govern an agency's operation of an LPR system.
Technological advances have greatly expanded the ability of law enforcement to establish and verify the identity of persons with biometric precision. The emergence of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) and live-scan fingerprint capture devices revolutionized latent fingerprint processing and enabled law enforcement to positively identify suspects and close cases that would otherwise have remained unsolved. Breakthroughs in DNA typing, facial recognition, iris scanning, voice recognition, and a host of other biometric measures have also proven critical in verifying and establishing identity.
The FBI's Next Generation Identification (NGI) program is leading the development of state-of-the-art biometric identification services that will benefit all law enforcement. NGI will support a host of identification capabilities, including interstate photo system enhancements, advanced fingerprint identification technology, enhanced IAFIS repository, national palm print sytems, and multimodal biometrics capabilities.
The Community Oriented Policing Service (COPS) office funded IACP in 2002 to conduct a nationwide study of in-car cameras, focusing on those in use by state police and highway patrol COPS grant recipients. The resulting report, The Impact of Video Evidence on Modern Policing, (PDF) demonstrated that in-car cameras provided a substantial value to agencies using them, including enhancing officer safety, improving agency accountability, reducing agency liability, simplifying incident review, enhancing new recruit and in-service training, and enhancing officer performance and professionalism. For more information, please contact: Mike Fergus
In-car camera systems have become an essential tool in modern law enforcement. However, for all its benefits, an in-car camera doesn’t guarantee officer buy-in or program success. This video demonstrates how planning and implementation are the keys to a successful in-car camera program that protects officers, their departments, and the citizens they serve.
View the In-Car Camera Video on-line
In-Car Video Camera Systems Performance Specifications
Through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Science and Technology, the IACP established a Digital Video Systems (DVS) Advisory Panel in March 2005 that included voluntary participation from law enforcement practitioners, video system manufacturers, and the scientific and technical community. Six task groups were formed to address specific components of the technical specifications document: quality measurement, data security, operational measurements, officer safety, interoperability, and testing and certification. The project produced performance specifications for in-car digital video camera systems, which are provided in the following publication: In-Car Video Camera Systems Performance Specifications: Digital Video Systems Module Digital Video Systems Minimum Performance Specifications Document Version 14 - 11/21/2008 (PDF).
IACP is in the early stages of building performance standards for In-Car Cameras, Interview Room Recorders, and License Plate Recognition systems. For more information, please contact: Michael Fergus
This on-line resource provides a wealth of tips and insight for law enforcement executives on how to identify departmental technology needs, and effectively address, manage, and overcome real-world technology challenges. Gain critical information on five technologies:
Red Light Camera System Specifications
These Red Light Camera System Minimum Performance Specifications have been created cooperatively with IACP law enforcement membership, industry professionals and scientific academia to provide comprehensive minimum performance specifications recommendations. Law enforcement agencies are encouraged to use the IACP Red Light Camera System Minimum Performance Specifications when reviewing existing installations, developing new policies, program plans, or when purchasing and implementing a new Red Light Camera System as a component of a crash reductions strategy. As the build out of this professional assistance membership service continues, IACP will publish a Conforming Product List of Red Light Camera Systems which have been tested for accuracy and reliability and meet these minimum performance specifications.
Red Light Camera System Minimum Performance Specifications (PDF)
For more information, contact Sarah Horn