BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (WBRC) – Community safety now comes with flashing a solar-powered camera. Local law enforcement has hired the technology to help them solve crimes.
These days, no matter where you go, chances are your photo has been taken.
Alabama cities were stepping up security, installing Flock cameras as part of their crime-fighting strategy.
âStolen Vehicle, Wanted, Silver Alerts, Amber Alerts, Registered Sex Offenders and other such notificationsâ, Cpt. Shane Ware of the Vestavia Hill Police Department explained.
Cpt. Ware said the cameras recently helped them catch a man accused of shooting another car in a road rage incident.
“It took us about an hour using the herd cameras to identify the suspect and then shortly after we were able to go to the suspect’s home and arrest him,” Ware said.
Josh Thomas of Flock Safety said the technology works by taking many photos of cars throughout the day. At the time of this writing, Thomas said there were approximately 200 cameras installed across Alabama by public and private entities.
âWe take a picture of the back of a car. And they can tell you to create the type, color, license plate number, license plate condition, âsaid Josh Thomas, vice president of marketing for Flock Safety.
The way it works is that the authorities plug what they are looking for into the system, the cameras, if the car they are looking for has passed one of them, can determine where that vehicle is.
Thomas said the $ 2,500 solar-powered technology camera, which only takes photos, gives law enforcement a leg up on criminals.
The company also takes steps to protect privacy.
âWe never use facial recognition technology. We do not identify race or gender. All footage is automatically deleted every 30 days on an ongoing basis. So there is no massive database that is collected here, âexplained Thomas.
Cpt. Ward said Vestavia Hill’s had the cameras for two years and opted for the help of the technology.
âTechnology is good, but it will never replace the human element of a policeman on the street doing his job. But we’ll use the help of the automated license plate readers because we can get it because it’s been so helpful, âWard said.
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