Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR)

Use and Purpose

The ALPR technology, also known as License Plate Recognition (LPR), allows for the automated detection of license plates. It is used by the Menlo Park Police Department to convert data associated with vehicle license plates for official law enforcement purposes, including identifying stolen or wanted vehicles, stolen license plates and missing persons. It may also be used to gather information related to active warrants, homeland security, electronic surveillance, suspect interdiction and stolen property recovery.


The City of Menlo Park's Municipal Code, Chapter 2.56 - Public Safety Information provides guidelines for the proper use of data and recordings gathered by the city through the use of ALPRs. Menlo Park Police Department's Policy 462 - Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) outlines the administration, operations, data collection and retention, and accountability of ALPRs for staff.

We recognize the importance of the public's privacy. The ALPR system does not retain private information of any kind. Data from our ALPR system, which is common practice with other Bay Area law enforcement agencies, is uploaded and retained by the Northern California Regional Crime Information Center (NCRIC) through their database. NCRIC has a thorough policy and privacy impact assessment to assure the public of our ethical use of this data.

NCRIC ALPR Privacy Impact Assessment
NCRIC ALPRs Frequently Asked Questions