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Yesterday I was driving out of the Bridgewater State College Parking lot and of course I had my scanner on.
And I hear them run the plate of the guy in front of me.

now mind you they didnt pull him over? ? ?
They just ran his plate ?

I was P*ssed.

Can they just do this ?

If they did it to him they can do it to me or whoever they want ?
Please let me know.
The licence came back Active and they also gave out the guys name, address and they said nothing came back in the KQ.
I was just amazed that they ran his plate without his knowledge.
Please let me know if this is legal and is it done often ?

Greg
 
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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Although it may seem somewhat disconcerting, police can and do run registrations ALL the time. The Supreme Court has confirmed that police are legally empowered to do this, and that it really doesn't constitute an invasion into one's privacy. Often it is a way for an officer to occupy him or herself, but more importantly it is an invaluable tool that allows an officer to see if a vehicle is stolen or if the owner is wanted. Hope this helps...be safe
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Commonwealth V. Starr is the case that gave the police the authority to run plates. Now REP on them. It was an 04 case. Very interesting....
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

I hear it all the time in certain areas. Nothing majorusally,but a laundry list of other things sometimes these people find there plates have been siezed sometime during the night.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

This is most often done via a cruiser's laptop. I run just about every car I see while on patrol. There's no expectation of privacy with a license plate.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

GMACK24,

It is perfectly legal for officers to query a plate and receive the owner information, regardless of whether people in scanner land like it or not. As stated previously there are advantages such as finding out if the vehicle or plates is stolen,the registration status ,if the owner of the vehicle is wanted, suspended/revoked license, etc...

Officers are doing more than occupying themselves. There are numerous reasons a registration may be queried randomly including an observed violation, suspicious vehicle, etc... Check out the sites below, it may clear up some questions you may have about this and other topics.

http://www.commonwealthpolice.net/ - CPS - Has alot of case law on their site

http://www.holdenpd.com/case.html - Holden PD has some good basic info and references to cases.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

In the Commonwealth, the registration plate is the property of the Registry of Motor Vehicles and not of the registered owner. Therefore, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy and random queries are permissible.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

This is done on a daily basis, it's just one way we catch the bad guys. I do not think that you will ever see the state change this either, they would loose way too much money by taking the ability to run plates away from the officers.

On an average I would say that we arrest / summons anywhere between 20 to 35 people a week because of information obtained via the cruiser laptop or calling in registrations to dispatch. Those numbers are on the low side.

As mentioned above when a plate is run (via the laptop) the officer gets a return display indicates the following:

License information and status of the driver, any license restrictions.
Registration information and status of the vehicle including inspection sticker status.
Criminal history (indicating the number of entires on the BOP)
Warrant information
Query information (what departments recently ran the plates in past 30 days)

Other screens will provide you with the drivers history etc... (good for those "I have never got a ticket" statements)

We had one last night, run the plate and the registered owner came back suspended. We also saw that NAPD recently quired the plate, a call to them revealed that the driver we had was just arrested and bailed out from their department for suspended license. Needless to say the clerk magistrate held him the second time he was cuffed :wink:

We have guys that will sit on a busy stretch of road and just run plates non-stop looking for warrant arrest. It's an invaluable tool for a proactive officer. We are in the business of catching bad guys and this is just one way to do it. If you all legal and no warrants etc.. this should not worry you we are looking for law breakers.

Officers have been running plates for years, granted they used to have to call in every plate to dispatch but this capability has been around for a long time, it's just faster and more detailed these days.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Public information...I used to do this with my MDT...drive along and run plates...
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

From what I have read on here, cops run the plates while driving along in traffic with the other M/V in front of them. Now I have heard some of the same people on this thread talk about people on cell phones being distracted or eating while driving. Whats the difference if the cop takes their eyes off the road to tap in the license plate on the MDT or if a civilan is talking on the cell phone / eating etc....? Same end result, sometimes. CRASH!

I am not a big fan of the "Big Brother" attitude, running plates out of sheer boredom. While we do not have the cruiser computers where we work, I don't want to bother the dispatcher endlessly while fishing for bad guys. If I see some suspicious activity or people acting hinky in a M/V I will run the plate. Other than that, I will leave my car and catch a bad guy on foot. There is plenty of them out there where I work.

Practice what you preach people. If it's good enough to write a ticket for a civilian doing basically the same thing, what makes you better? While I agree that it is a great tool to have, it should only be used certain times, not as a tool to be used out of boredom.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Hey, I think should you be happy :D , you caught the police taking a proactive approach to law enforcement and maintaining public safety. If you're not doing anything wrong what do you care if the police know who you are/what you're BOP/license status is! If you're really worried about you privacy, apply to the RMV for an untraceable plate and see if they agree with your reasoning :lol:
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Gentlemen neutral corners...and continue any arguing in PM's if you like.

GMack
You don't have to answer me if you don't want to but I have to admit I'm also a little curious why someone would drive around in a CV with flashing blue grill lights, wig-wags, while listening to a scanner tuned into a state college campus police department? Also just to reiterate what has already been posted yes they can do this.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Gentlemen neutral corners...and continue any arguing in PM's if you like.

GMack
You don't have to answer me if you don't want to but I have to admit I'm also a little curious why someone would drive around in a CV with flashing blue grill lights, wig-wags, while listening to a scanner tuned into a state college campus police department? Also just to reiterate what has already been posted yes they can do this.
Yeah I will answer this.
I have a P74 Grandpa Mobile. Crown Vic LX. and a friend did that flashing blue lights in photoshop as a joke. And insofar as the cornermarkers those came standard on all LX models for 1995. It helps you make turns at night. and insofar as the wig wags. They do not exist. I bought this car as an LX and I plan to keep it that way 8)
And I just have the scanner for fun.
I like to know what is going on in the Bridgewater Raynham area.

Now the meat and potato's

The car in front of me that got ran. .........
He was going 25 as I was. (That is the speed limit)
and I just didn't understand why he querried this guys plate.
The guy was doing nothing wrong.
It was a run of the mill 1990 white mazda.
The guy looked like he was just coming home from work and thats bout it.
And a little more background about the Bridgewater State College police.
They have to deal with the Commuter Rail Train station that sits on the far end of their campus. The train runs from Bridgewater to Boston several times day and night and
the only way in and out is via roads that are patroled and owned by Bridgewater State College. So basically we are a slave to their laws / 20 to 25 mph regulations.

Thats about it.

And Thanks for all of the comments. I appreciate the time you all put into your replies.
This definatly helps me understand.

I still dont agree with this particular running of this guys plate but this does give me some more insight as to why it happens.

Thanks !
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

It is only the SJC taking more rights away from the good people of the Commonwealth..... 8)
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Gentlemen neutral corners...and continue any arguing in PM's if you like.

GMack
You don't have to answer me if you don't want to but I have to admit I'm also a little curious why someone would drive around in a CV with flashing blue grill lights, wig-wags, while listening to a scanner tuned into a state college campus police department? Also just to reiterate what has already been posted yes they can do this.
Not to be off topic, but Mr. Moderator what's up w/the neutral corners, there is an active and lively discussion about a topic that concerns cops and citizens alike.

My goodness a moderator going off topic harassing someone who askes a question about his car etc, nothing to do with the topic?

Posted Fri 15 Oct, 2004 12:05:

An interesting note on BSC, I may or may not know some of the cops there, and suposedly they are sworn in as Town Specials, so they may do various types of enforcement out of the confines of the campus, however it seems that none of the newer guys have ever been sworn in.

any BSC guys here......... is this true, seems like a major liability and a serious restraint on your ability to do your jobs.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Keep in mind, the registration and plate to the vehicle is not "your property", it belongs to the State of Massachusetts and is on your vehicle for identification purposes. :twisted:
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

I can't believe this is even a disscussion.....we have the right to run plates...the information contained within is not confidential....it helps us catch criminals and save time on stops....what's the problem?
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

I agree. I'm surprised the question came from someone pro-law enforcement.

I imagine you would feel differently if your car was stolen, then recovered the next day...thief intact, because a cop ran your plate and found it to be stolen.
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

Understandably... as a police officer you do have the right to run the plates.. without a doubt.. this has always been a heated debate because it does sit on the fine line of privacy, i.e. Yes.. "Why is my info being run when I did nothing wrong.." Well, very easy, making sure the bad guys aren't on the street.

However, knowing the system and knowing the legal side of it, I believe everytime your plate is run, it is flagged in the registry. Just recently, I went for employment and an RMV check was done on myself. I had my plate run by towns that I was just passing through. So of course, I was questioned as to why my plates were ran. Couldn't tell you. Needless to say, because I couldn't give an answer, those runs were negative to me. Sooooo I think we all need to realize that it is in the best interests of society to ensure the bad guys aren't driving around out there.. however, it must be used with discretion because believe it or not, everytime you run a plate, that plate is marked by the dept and the officer who ran it
 

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Re: Can they do this ? ? ? ? ? Bridgewater State College Po

MiamiVice

The new F/T BSC cops have been sworn in as Town Specials / lots of off campus incidents with all the local bars and tons of Bridgewater details. No Plymouth County powers (except command staff) so Town Special covers the off campus stuff.
 
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