From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
MOODY — The Moody Police Department is using seven Flock Safety cameras throughout the city. The cameras take still-image photos of license plates and upload them into a cloud, accessible to law enforcement.
The purpose of the camera system is to capture license plates and report, in real-time, when a stolen or switched tag enters into an area. Crime-fighting was a success with one camera the city used during a test period, so the city added six more, according to Police Chief Thomas Hunt.
“The most important part of it to us is that it adds to our crime-fighting tools,” said Hunt. “As far as car break-ins, stolen vehicles, any type of crime, in a certain location, if a vehicle passes in front of one of our cameras, it’ll read its tag and we’ll be able to go back to the area where the crime occurred and look at what cars came through that area, how many came through that area and who came through that area.”
Hunt said the cameras are located in places where people come into the city. There is also a camera in a central location within the city.
“If you’re coming to Moody to commit a crime, be prepared to be caught on camera,” said Hunt.
Joshua Miller, with Flock Safety, said after a tag is captured, an alert is sent to law enforcement if a crime is connected to that tag.
“Our mission is to solve non-violent crime,” said Miller. “We asked police officers what kind of tools would help solve crimes better and 9 times, out of 10, when it comes to property crimes, they always come back and say they need a license plate.”
The Atlanta Police Department also uses Flock Safety cameras and the Atlanta Police Foundation found when an area is properly covered, crime can be reduced by 30% – 50%.
The solar-powered, wireless cameras can also be used by neighborhoods or HOA’s 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, according to Miller.
“We believe that when a community works together, with police, overall it becomes safer,” said Miller.
Flock Safety’s cloud service only holds information for 30 days. There are protocols in place to ensure tags are only used in crime-solving cases.
Moody Police Department has already captured stolen tags and cars from Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and has seized various illegal narcotics and wanted suspects across the southeast region.
Detective Sgt. Christopher Johnson said the police department is committed to safety for the citizens and visitors of Moody.
“We believe that everyone deserves to live, eat, shop, and travel in our city without having to worry about being the victim of a crime,” said Johnson. “Unfortunately, not everyone agrees. For those that do not, we have, and will continue to, seek to resolve crimes against our residents and visitors utilizing a combination of dedicated professionals and the most effective technology available to us.”
For more information on Flock Safety, visit the website at https://www.flocksafety.com/.