What is the purpose of the city installing license plate cameras? How is that data being used?
These are called Flock Safety cameras, devices that are being used by law enforcement, private businesses and neighborhoods in hundreds of communities across the nation. The overall purpose of the Flock Safety system is to reduce crime. The cameras are engineered to capture images of vehicles that pass through their field of view and identify characteristics and license plates.
Real-time notifications are sent to officers about stolen vehicles, stolen license plates, and vehicles associated with AMBER Alerts, missing persons and wanted persons.
These license plates are searched against “hot lists” maintained and updated by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) databases. Real-time notifications are sent to officers about stolen vehicles, stolen license plates, and vehicles associated with AMBER Alerts, missing persons and wanted persons.
Our officers can also receive notifications about vehicles that were used in crimes. These notifications may allow officers to take action to prevent crime from occurring. The cameras are designed to capture images of the rear of vehicles, aimed in the direction of traffic. They do not collect information on who is driving or riding in a vehicle. The cameras are not used for facial recognition.
The footage is fully encrypted from device to cloud and is deleted after 30 days on a rolling basis. Access to historical data during that time period may help to develop investigative leads. There have already been success stories with the cameras that have been installed. There have also been success stories involving cameras installed by home owner associations within the city that share access with us.
You can learn more about the camera system here.
Authored by Jeff Worrell, Sue Finkam, Laura Campbell, Tim Hannon, Bruce Kimball, Miles Nelson, Tony Green and Adam Aasen.