San Diego

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The San Diego Police Department uses certain technologies to conduct investigations, enhance response to critical incidents and public threats and safeguard the lives of community members that must comply with the City of San Diego's Surveillance Ordinance.

This page aims to provide the documents required under the Surveillance Ordinance and information on public meetings to learn more and provide feedback on draft procedures regarding technologies used by the San Diego Police Department. 

NOTE: This page will be updated as new information is made available. Check back frequently for any changes. 

What is the Surveillance Ordinance?

The City of San Diego's Surveillance Ordinance amended and added PDF icon Chapter 2, Article 10 of the San Diego Municipal Code on August 10, 2022. The ordinance is designed to provide greater transparency to City Council and the public when the City acquires any technology that meets the City's definition of surveillance.

The Surveillance Ordinance requires that for each technology that meets the criteria for surveillance, City departments must: 

  • Prepare a Surveillance Use Policy that includes the purpose, use, data collection, data access, data protection, data retention, public access, third-party data sharing, training, auditing and oversight, and maintenance. 
  • Hold at least one or more community meetings in each City Council district where the proposed surveillance technology is deployed, with an opportunity for public comment and written response. City Council may require departments to conduct additional community engagement on the technology.
  • Prepare a Surveillance Impact Report including description, purpose, location, impact assessment, mitigations, data types and sources, data security, fiscal cost, third-party dependence, alternatives, track record, and public engagement and comments. 
  • Present the item to the Privacy Advisory Board for review.
  • Present the item to City Council for the acquisition and deployment of all new and currently-used surveillance technologies.
  • Provide annual reports on surveillance technology use, impact, and non-surveillance technology acquisitions.

PDF icon Read the full municipal code for more details 

Automated License Plate Recognition (ALPR)

Automatic License Plate Recognition Technology is a component of the San Diego Police Department’s crime-fighting strategy that involves the identification and successful prosecution of persons and vehicles involved in criminal activity, the deterrence of crime, and the protection of community members.

Smart Streetlights

The primary purpose of Smart Streetlights is to facilitate the investigation of violent crimes and traffic offenses that result in the loss of life, significant destruction of property, and erode the public safety of community members.


Previous Presentations

Smart Streetlights / ALPR Community Meeting

March 8, 2023

Watch the June 22, 2021 Forum Now