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December 2012 IACP News

IACP Releases ALPR Report

Law enforcement agencies throughout the United States 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.

The 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, is now available online at

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.

For information, email David Roberts at

IACP Focuses on Juvenile Justice Leadership, Diversion, and Collaboration

The 119th Annual IACP Conference in San Diego, California, highlighted two workshops discussing key, contemporary issues relating to youth and policing. The IACP/McArthur Foundation Law Enforcement’s Leadership Role in the Advancement of Promising Practices initiative featured a workshop, “Changing Lives: Getting Smart (Not Soft) on Juvenile Crime,” that concerned

  • a range of diversion practices, processes, and program alternatives designed to reduce the likelihood that youth will encounter formal adjudication;
  • current successful and promising programs operating nationwide; and
  • strategies to engage community stakeholders from other youth-serving systems.

Panelists included a police chief, a prosecutor, and a director of a large city juvenile services department.

For information on this initiative, visit

The IACP’s Improving Law Enforcement Response to Youth initiative, in partnership with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, held a workshop called “Don’t Risk It! Why Law Enforcement Should Avoid Using Adult Interrogation Techniques on Youth,” which covered topics including

  • the incidence and prevalence of false confessions from youth in police interrogations,
  • model guidelines and good practices for agencies, and
  • preventing officer and agency liability.

Panelists included an individual who falsely confessed at age 17 and was convicted and imprisoned for 15 years before being exonerated in 2012.

In conjunction with the workshop, the IACP released a new publication, Reducing Risks: An Executive’s Guide to Effective Juvenile Interview and Interrogation, which provides information and tools on recommended best practices, key cases affecting juvenile interview and interrogation, recent research on police practices in juvenile interrogations, and sample documents. For information, visit♦



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. 12, December 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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