GARNER – The Garner Police Department is partnering with Flock Safety to lease 15 automated license plate reading (ALPR) cameras to help solve and reduce crime in the Garner community.
On Feb. 8, the Garner Police Department deployed eight of 15 Flock Safety ALPR cameras in strategic locations for both proactive and reactive crime fighting. Full deployment is expected in early March.
The ALPR network delivers real-time alerts to law enforcement when a stolen or wanted vehicle has passed a camera. The license plate readers can also alert officers if a vehicle associated with a missing person in an AMBER or Silver Alert is detected.
Garner Police received its first Flock camera alert within 24 hours of deployment on Feb. 9. Following a string of vehicle break-ins at a local park, officers utilized the ALPR system to identify the suspect vehicle. Within a few hours, Garner Police identified the suspect and obtained warrants.
In the second week, Flock cameras helped officers recover a stolen vehicle within an hour of the alert. This apprehension resulted in the detainment of two juveniles, one of whom was reported missing. In addition, Garner Police officers recovered a stolen vehicle out of Florida within 30 minutes of being notified by the Flock system.
Flock Safety ALPR cameras help law enforcement investigate crime by providing objective evidence. They capture license plates and vehicle characteristics, not people or faces. Flock Safety cameras are not used for traffic enforcement and do not include facial recognition capabilities. The footage obtained by the cameras is Criminal Justice Information Services compliant and is automatically deleted every 30 days, by default.
The Garner Police Department will maintain an updated policy around usage of the ALPR system. Each search requires a justification, and the data is never sold. Data may be shared with other law enforcement agencies with an approved written request for investigative purposes only. The cameras will be used only to solve and reduce property and violent crime.
Regarding the ALPR cameras, Chief Lorie Smith said, “I understand some members of the community may have concerns surrounding privacy. ALPR data is collected in public places and focuses only on license plates and vehicle characteristics. We are excited about this new technology and its ability to help us provide a safer community for our residents and visitors. We are committed to being a transparent organization and encourage people to visit Flock Safety at flocksafety.com or review our policy to learn more about the cameras and how we will manage this program. As always, we are available to discuss any concerns with our community.”
Flock Safety cameras are in use in over 1,400 municipalities across 40 states, and the company works with over 1,000 police departments. The cameras have been shown to reduce crime by up to 70 percent.