Note: Unless otherwise stated, all quotes are from Chief Nasci.
Last week, the Chronicle wrote about the new ALPRs at the Four Corners. That article referenced the Wisconsin License Plate Reader Association, and stated that no contact information was available for them. Earlier this week, Dennis Nasci–Chief of Police for the West Milwaukee Police Department, and a spokesman for the WLPRA responded to questions about the Association and how the ALPR data is handled.
Who Are They?
The Wisconsin License Plate Reader Association (WLPRA from here on) is neither a registered business, nor a government agency.
First let me say as an Association we are not subject by law to the freedom of information Act as noted by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. In the same light we are not required to be registered through the Secretary of State either.
As such, it is not bound by any laws or regulations which apply to businesses or government agencies. For legal purposes, this would appear to make it no different than a local quilting circle or weekly neighborhood softball game.
Nasci did not state how they are identified with the IRS, or which financial reporting laws they are subject to.
What Is The Law?
As noted there is no law that has been enacted regarding the License Plate Readers in the state of Wisconsin at this time.
Each agency owns their own reads and members of the association are not authorized to release information that belongs to another agency. All policies and rules are specific to the individual agencies and are not dictated by the association.
A list of members was not provided–and can not, as noted above, be obtained through a FOIA request–so it’s not possible for the Chronicle to report on how Lodi’s policies compare to other jurisdictions.
Asked to provide Lodi’s policies on video surveillance, Chief Smith provided a copy of the appropriate section of the Policy Manual. It can been read here [pdf].
One of the common questions asked about surveillance video is “How long is the data kept?”. Absent a state law…
By vote of the membership, data is retained for one year and then purged from the system through a setting in the software.
All safety protocols in line with CJIS compliance are followed.
CJIS refers to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. and Nasci is referring to the CJIS Compliance Checklist–a list of protocols and procedures to assure that data is not accessed by unauthorized persons or entities.
The City of Lodi has a defined policy for the use of ALPRs and other electronic surveillance. Within the scope of this article, the Chronicle did not reach out to the Village or Town of Dane, nor to the Towns of Lodi or West Point. If you want to know what–if any–policies these municipalities have regarding electronic surveillance, reach out to them.
A Lodi native, Blaze attended the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he graduated with a degree in theatre technology & design. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and the world–including a 6-year stint in China. He has been a teacher, a writer, a designer, and is the founder of the Redleaf Consulting Group.