National Assembly seeks license plate reader rules | News, Sports, Jobs

Legislation has been passed by the state assembly calling for new state guidelines for the use of license plate readers by police officers.

A.940B passed the Assembly by a vote of 102 to 44, largely in favor of the parties. Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted against the legislation. Versions of the bill had been introduced in 2019 and 2020 and had not come out of the Assembly’s Government Operations Committee.

A companion bill (S685) was introduced in the state Senate, but was not passed by the Senate Consumer Protection Committee.

The bill requires the state’s Municipal Police Training Board, which operates under the state’s Criminal Justice Services Division, to develop, maintain and disseminate a policy of minimum standards governing the use of systems. automatic license plate recognition. The minimum standards policy should include provisions on permitted uses of automated license plate reading technology, data sharing and dissemination, prohibited uses, records retention and management, and training. It also directs the Municipal Police Training Board to recommend to the Governor a set of rules and regulations to establish a continuing education program for all current and new police officers regarding license plate readers as well as recommendations for the periodic retraining of police officers.

Several Republicans spoke out against the legislation, including Goodell, while no Democrats spoke out in favor. But, in her legislative rationale, Congresswoman Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale, noted that concerns had been raised over the years about the growing use of license plate readers.

“Automatic license plate reader technology has become an increasingly useful tool for law enforcement to aid and assist in catching criminals,” wrote Paulin. “New Yorkers have always valued privacy and the use of LPR technology may violate an innocent citizen’s inherent right to privacy. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, this technology and the data derived from it can essentially map the entire life of a private citizen who has not committed or even been suspected of any crime. New York does not currently have uniform standards in place governing the use of LPRs.

Deputy Angelo Morinello, R-Niagara Falls, read directly from state guidelines monitoring the use of license plate readers, while Deputy Joe Angelino, R-Binghamton and former police officer, said that guidelines had evolved from the use of automatic license plate readers. started nearly 20 years ago.

“It’s all already done” said Angelino. “I don’t know what this cumbersome bill is going to do that hasn’t already been done. If this is enacted, I think there will be employees of the Criminal Justice Services Division who will see this, look at this and say, “OK, and put it aside because these are things they already do. It’s like the equivalent of this legislative body that comes up with a policy on how we should operate a rotary phone. We’ve been doing this for 20 years and it really isn’t necessary.

In addition, the legislation requires all state and local law enforcement agencies to prominently post the Minimum Standards for Use of Automatic License Plate Recognition Systems Policy on its website. or, if the law enforcement agency does not maintain a website, at its main office. The policy should also be made available to the public upon request.

“Sometimes we think, well, what’s the harm in passing a law that codifies, if you will, what we’re already doing,” said Goodel. “I would just like to point out that I have a conference room, and you are all welcome to visit it whenever you wish, I have about 100 linear feet of McKinneys, about 100 linear feet of New State Laws York. Every time we add more and more, it increases the cost for everyone and makes it harder and harder to find what’s really important. I urge my colleagues to keep in mind that laws and regulations in New York are blooming that it’s creating more and more costs and making it harder and harder for people to find what’s really important.

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Milton S. Rodgers