York County Libertarian Party

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UPDATE: York City Police Department Denies Access to Records

YCPD Chief Kahley Reneges on Promise to Deliver Data Policy to the Public

Eight months after Councilman Michael Helfrich called on Chief Wes Kahley and the York City Police Department to release a policy on the city’s use of automatic license plate scanners, the stonewalling continues.

Despite multiple reassurances from the York City Police Department that a policy outlining protective measures would be released publicly, the city has yet again denied my Right-To-Know request for records associated with the operation of the scanners.

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URGENT: City Officials, Police Team Up to Block Event

Click here to read the UPDATE

…an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.

The 3rd annual Trey & Boo Classic, a commemorative basketball tournament organized by community activist Wayne Scott, is being blocked by the City of York.

The Trey & Boo Classic, recognized as a positive city tradition, aims “to bring young people together and promote unity in our community”, said Scott. The annual event brings about 500 people to the city’s Penn Park; including athletes from Chester, Lebanon, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

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My (REJECTED) Letter to the Editor: When Child Abuse and the Stop Snitching Culture Collide

York Daily Record/Sunday News Censors Criticism of State Violence

My first thought was this letter to the editor, and my beef with the censorship that followed, wasn’t appropriate for this web space. After some contemplation, I’ve reconsidered my position.

The State Calls Its Own Violence Law, But That of the Individual Crime – Max Stirner

It’s important to illustrate, as this case does well, how violence at the hands of the state is treated differently than violence perpetrated by private individuals. Consider the case of the 16-year-old child beaten and abused in York last month. Where is the usual community outcry that would follow such a savage incident?

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Community Reacts to York City Police Beating of Young Student

Let’s Call it What It Is – It’s Child Abuse

It’s time. Enough facts are out to create an assessment of this incident. It’s time for the community to engage in dialogue and determine what needs to happen next.

I have a simple question. If a private citizen, along with two other men, locked a child in a room, “restrained her” and then injured her as badly as the police injured that child in the name of “getting her to behave”, wouldn’t there be an investigation into child abuse?

Residents Take to Social Networks to Express Shock

A picture allegedly showing the result of a York City Police officer’s brutal beating of an unarmed, handcuffed and restrained York City student is being circulated on the web.


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YCPD: Policy on License Plate Scanners Coming Soon - What to Expect

How to Ensure the Policy Safeguards Your Privacy Interests


More than a year after the York LP called for a moratorium on the purchase of automatic license plate scanners in the city of York, and two Right-to-Know requests later, public release of a policy governing the use of the devices is imminent, according to York City Police Chief Wes Kahley.

Chief Kahley says the policy was authored in accordance with guidelines from the International Association of Chiefs of Police license plate scanner Privacy Impact Assessment report.

In order to safeguard innocent citizens from the threat of wholesale, retroactive surveillance and location tracking, it’s imperative that a commensurate set of checks and balances be put in place to offset the department’s enhanced surveillance capacities. The following are my suggestions.

Police Want to be able to “Google Search” Your Mobility Patterns

  • Data Retention – How long will the police department be storing information gathered from license plate scanners? Infomation not associated with an on-going criminal investigation should be purged within 14 days.

Information collected by scanners contains significant amounts of data including the time, date and GPS coordinates of each scan. Accumulated data can be collated and data-mined to reveal innocent citizens driving patterns. One Minnesota mayor found that out the hard way. The Department of Homeland Security has directed local police agencies to profile citizens and create ‘individualized threat mosaics’ based on their location patterns.

  • Information Sharing – Will the department be releasing data captured from the scanners to other public and/or private agencies? Information not associated with an on-going criminal investigation must not be shared with other law enforcement or private agencies.

This should be self-explanatory. It’s not always so simple, though. Some license plate scanner vendors function as a third-party data warehouse, storing information from scanners in shared regional spaces and automatically sharing data on innocent citizens driving patterns through an intranet spread among various government agencies by way of fusion centers.

Speaking at a National Institute of Justice conference on license plate scanners, Dale Stockton (head of Operation RoadRunner, a project of the Automated Regional Justice Information System in California) said such a system would be “something akin to a Google search”.

  • Hot Lists – What type of cars will police look for? Will police look for cars with information shared from other departments? Information shared with the department by other public/private agencies, which is not related to on-going criminal investigations, must not be stored and used by the department.

Due to the relative ease of sharing data from license pate scans, and evidence that prolific amounts of sharing occur, we must safeguard against private contractors and other law enforcement agencies sourcing data on innocent citizens and sharing the data with the department. This is a loophole that would allow local police to off-load surveillance to a third party.

The Trap Door

I filed two Right-To-Know requests that were both denied by the city, citing ‘homeland security’ as an exemption. If history is any indicator, be on the lookout for phrases such as “except for public safety” and the like. It’s likely the department will go to any means to maintain its retroactive surveillance capacities intact. Remember, after all, that it’s been over a year and if it weren’t for consistent public pressure the chief would have never even considered drafting a policy, let alone making it public.

Related Articles

  • York City Schools Implement Biometric Finger Scans Without Parental Consent
  • UPDATE: York City Police Department Denies Access to Records
  • York County Police Seeking Federal Funds for Pre-Crime Intelligence System
  • A Case Against More COPS Funding in York
  • My (REJECTED) Letter to the Editor: When Child Abuse and the Stop Snitching Culture Collide
  • York Economic Development Director Kevin Schreiber Eyes 95th District Seat
  • Community Reacts to York City Police Beating of Young Student
  • Councilman Helfrich Calls for Policy on License Plate Scanners
  • Letter to the editor: Keep city police from spying on innocent citizens
  • ACLU: License Plate Scanners a Threat to Americans' Privacy