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Rochester Police Department



Police departments frequently obtain and use new and invasive technologies without letting the public – or even local lawmakers – know. Because of the serious risks these technologies pose to our privacy, there needs to be more transparency about what tools police are using and what’s being done to safeguard sensitive information being swept up in the mix. Often, these devices are deployed faster than thoughtful policies governing their use can be created and vetted.

The documents we received appeared to show that Rochester did not have a policy governing the use of its Stingrays separate from its more general surveillance policies. Those general policies at least included some good provisions, like commitments to destroy or seal information they acquire inadvertently, but did not fully reckon with all the legal and privacy concerns implicated by the devices. To fully understand the scope and impact of surveillance on our communities, local police departments must actively engage the public in decisions over how – and more fundamentally, whether – to deploy new technologies before deciding to spend huge sums of money to obtain and use them.

View Documents:
Acquisition of Tactical Equipment from Federal Funds
Acquisition and Use of Automatic License Plate Readers
Acquisition and Use of Cell Site Simulators
Acquisition and Use of ShotSpotter

Additional Department Policies and Data:

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