The NYCLU conducted an exhaustive inquiry into the policies of each police department. Through our interaction, we have found that the Greece Police Department:
- Produced records showing that the Department had acquired Automatic License Plate Readers but did not produce any policies governing their use.
- Had a body-worn camera policy that left activation entirely up to the discretion of the officer whenever “appropriate” or “beneficial,” with no actual requirement that they be turned on at all. Policies like these give the officers total discretion. As a result, they undermine the potential value of body cameras in promoting transparency and creating objective records of encounters.
- Gave us policies for patrol procedures and vehicle and traffic enforcement that didn’t appear to include any discussion of the legal standards that govern these encounters. And while the policy notes that traffic stops represent the majority of people’s encounters with officers, the Department didn’t produce any policies governing pedestrian stops.
- Told us that no policies existed related to bias-based policing, racial profiling, and interactions with persons with disabilities, or language access policies for people with limited English proficiency.
Policy Spotlight: Automatic License Plate Readers
Automatic license plate readers (“ALPRs”) are devices that can be mounted on police cars or fixed on poles or on the roadside to scan the license plates of all cars passing by. These readers scoop up, at minimum, the license plate number of a car as well as its date, time and location. Without appropriate privacy protections in place, local governments using license plate readers can amass a vast database of the comings and goings of innocent people over a long period of time. They can even share the information with other entities. License plate readers can form the building blocks of a massive government database about New Yorkers, including their political and religious beliefs, daily habits and who they associate with. While use of this technology is concerning on its face, the use of ALPRs without any policy in place to address privacy concerns and to limit data retention and sharing jeopardizes the civil liberties of countless drivers.
You can learn more about the policies by clicking the cards below.
Documents received by January 2016