Operational Technologies

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.

CAD/RMS - BiometricsIn-Car Cameras - Redlight Cameras
Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR)

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."

Biometric Identification Technologies

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.