The Albany Policing Commission: Automated License Plate Readers

Albany commuinty policing iconOn April 18th, 2024, the Albany Policing Commission held their third Thursday of the month meeting to review the police department’s (PD) quarterly report and discuss various other matters related to the Albany PD. Most of the information on the report can be found on the city website. The general report contained a basic overview of the police department’s staffing and infrastructure as well as the monthly dashboard concerning criminal activity in Albany. After the crime report, the Albany police department held two presentations, one on a state-of-the-art camera & recognition network, and another on recruitment and staffing.

The chief of the city’s police department, John Geissberger, gave a presentation on the possible usage of the Flock ALPR system in Albany. ALPR is an acronym, which stands for “Automated License Plate Reader,” a system that utilizes cameras and recognition software to read vehicle license plates. The purpose of this system is to be able to track vehicles involved in crimes and illegal activity- if a camera detects a license plate registered on the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) or NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), the system will notify local police officers.

The ALPR system is used by an extensive number of police departments across the state, and in many police departments in nearby cities such as Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, El Cerrito, and Richmond.

The Albany police department’s proposal involves the installation of thirty-four flock cameras at strategic locations throughout Albany, at a total cost of around $3,000 per camera. They will propose usage of this system to the Albany city council during their meeting on May 6th.

The second presentation was centered around recruitment and retention. The presentation was given by Trish Gomez, Police Administrative Specialist. The Albany police department primarily recruits through All-Star Talent, a marketing firm that specializes in public sector recruiting, though they also post recruitments on websites such as, government, and the national testing network. They also often recruit at job fairs and events. Although the Albany PD hosts a plethora of incentives to retain officers, one notable incentive is department culture, which is very interconnected and familial.

The meeting adjourned after an hour, at 8pm. Future agenda items include possible subcommittee updates and the standard monthly police reports.

–Aidan Yu


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