Greg Bishop broadcasts from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library from 9 to noon only on 970 WMAY! Tune in to hear a fascinating conversation about a moment in history, a discussion about public safety pensions, and how Springfield Police are woefully behind on getting policies and procedures in place for technology that could be used for surveillance without a warrant. We'll get to it all with Bishop On Air! Don't miss it.
License Plate Readers in Springfield
Way back in August of 2011 I saw some interesting cameras on the back of a Springfield Police squad car. I reached out to then Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher to get more information about what I thought was license plate recognition technology. I was correct. Watch a video from 2 1/2 years ago here:
A year after revealing the LPRs at SPD, the American Civil Liberties of Illinois wanted more information. From a story posted to WMAY.com July of 2012, the ACLU wanted details about how:
[T]he information which Springfield police have gathered with the cameras could violate the rights of its citizens. The ACLU has requested a response on the issue from the Department and expects to hear back from City Police on Monday.
As we patiently awaited for the policies and procedures, the Springfield Police File Shredding Scandal of 2013. That took attention away from other matters.
Just the other week, I thought why not revisit the issue. Surely, with a new police chief and some perceived bad apples no longer with SPD they have the policies and procedures in place, right? A FOIA request for that info provided this response:
The Springfield Police Department has no finalized policy or procedure in place for license plate reading cameras. A draft policy is under review, but it is exempt from release ...
A person familiar with the situation says that Springfield Police currently have two LPR systems being used daily for things like finding people with excessive parking tickets and people with outstanding warrants. So, the Springfield Police Department has been using this technology for 2 1/2 years without having policies and procedures in place. How do you feel about that? We'll get your reaction today with Bishop On Air from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library!