From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — Flock Safety cameras have been up and running in the city of Trussville for 30 days, and police say the cameras have proven successful in keeping some criminals out of the city.
In the first 30 days of operation, police were alerted to 59 vehicles. Detective Ben Short said he expects to see even more in the future.
“We’re going to continue to improve upon those numbers,” said Short. “We’re going to attack this from a strategic standpoint, in terms of where the cameras are located.”
Of the 59 alerts to police, 44 were for possible stolen tags or vehicles, seven were for suspected gang members or terrorists, three were for possible sex offenders, three were for protection orders and two were for outstanding warrants.
“We’re going to continuously monitor the success rates that we’re observing and we’ll evaluate the locations so we can ensure that we get as many of these stolen vehicles, stolen tags, and folks with warrants out of Trussville,” Short said.
The system of license plate reader cameras captures snapshots of vehicles, not video, and alerts authorities to stolen tags, stolen vehicles, and to tags registered to a person with a warrant. Detective Short said sometimes those traffic stops lead to solving a wide range of other crimes, from small property crimes to robberies.
“We’re utilizing the Flock cameras from an investigative standpoint, as well. Our patrols are getting notified of these stolen cars and stolen plates, then as they investigate those, they are discovering other crimes in that process.”
The police department also has the ability to enter a “hot list” to be alerted when a specific vehicle enters the city.
The solar-powered, wireless cameras can be used by neighborhoods or HOAs for $2,000 a year. That includes installation, cloud services and maintenance. If a community uses a camera, they can give permission to police to access data and, in turn, help solve more crimes.