Snapshot: Flock Cameras
LCPD’s Latest Law Enforcement Technology Becoming Gamechanger
If you’ve ever noticed the solar cameras jutting from the ground alongside some of League City’s major roadways and wondered, “what are those?”—we have an answer. These are Flock cameras, which were installed by the League City Police Department in early December of 2022. Flock cameras are license plate readers (LPRs)—technology created by Flock Safety, a company specializing in security cameras and LPRs for both law enforcement and private entities.
The technology assists LCPD in locating burglary suspects, along with suspects of other serious crimes. LCPD has already solved several robberies and one capital murder case because of Flock Safety’s technology.
The department now has nine cameras strategically installed around League City. LCPD anticipates installing another 33 cameras in the future and is currently going through a permitting process with TxDOT to receive authorization to install them at major intersections.
How do the cameras work?
The cameras capture images of vehicle license plates as they pass by. The LPRs run the license plates through a state database that will then notify LCPD in 5 to 10 seconds if the car is stolen, or if the vehicle’s driver is wanted for a felony or violent crime. The database only keeps these license plate images for 30 days and then they are deleted permanently from the system.
How Flock cameras are saving lives
LPRs are not only for recovering stolen vehicles and solving high-profile cases, they can also be used to recover missing persons, including elderly persons with dementia and Amber Alerts. With this technology, officers can input the license plate number of the missing person or suspect into the system and local law enforcement will be notified when the car passes any of the cameras.
What Flock cameras are NOT:
- Technology meant to spy on people.
- Cameras used to track down unpaid parking tickets.
- A database that stores citizen’s license plates forever.
Looking to the future
In 2024, AXON—the Police Department’s in-car camera provider—will begin installing new in-car cameras that integrate with Flock Safety LPR technology into all patrol vehicles. This will give all LCPD patrol vehicles the same capabilities as the other Flock cameras placed throughout town. Captain Harold Lee believes that LPR technology will become a significant gamechanger to law enforcement and solving cases. “I would compare it to the advancements in DNA technology,” said Lee. “DNA technology didn’t exist 30-40 years ago, and now we’re seeing cases solved by DNA. I think we’re going to see a number of cases solved that, without LPRs, would probably go unsolved.”
Request Flock Cameras for Your HOA
As private entities, HOAs can pay for Flock cameras to be installed in their own neighborhoods and subdivisions. Mar Bella is the first HOA in League City to do this, and has already installed four cameras. If your HOA is interested, contact Lupe Wood, Flock Safety’s Community Safety Territory Representative, at 832-599-8244 or email@example.com.