Some regional jurisdictions use scanning technology

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Responses the American Civil Liberties Union received to its Freedom of Information Act requests to law enforcement agencies across the nation show that the following agencies in Western Pennsylvania either have used or currently use automatic license plate readers: the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority and the Baldwin Police Department.

The North Strabane and South Strabane police departments, the Cecil police department, the Canonsburg police department and the Washington County sheriff's office also use the scanners, known as ALPR technology, under direction from the Washington County district attorney's office.

Peters Township has ALPR technology but has not used it since January 2012 due to "technical difficulties," according to its reply to the ACLU.

The Mt. Lebanon police department briefly tested ALPR technology in 2009, but after an "informal evaluation" and because of a lack of budgeted funds, it has not used the technology since that year, the department said.

The Port of Pittsburgh declined to respond to the ACLU information request, citing the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law's Section 708(b)(2), which prevents public access to information that could jeopardize public safety.

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