Questions answered, first set of data on Flock cameras
Lexington Police say nearly 400 charges have been filed since installing the 25 license plate readers around the city
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Lexington Police Department has been answering many questions from the public about the 25 license plate readers, called Flock cameras, being used around the city. Since the cameras were installed on March 22, many people in the community have spoken out saying they feel their privacy is being invaded and wondering if it’s making a difference in fighting crime in the city.
“When we rolled those out as a pilot program, we knew there would be a lot of questions and a lot of concerns,” says Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton. “We are finding that they are extremely helpful.”
According to Lexington Police, since March the city’s 25 Flock cameras have led to nearly 400 charges being filed on over 130 people. Police say Flock cameras have helped give leads in 35 investigations, locate 11 missing people and serve over 100 warrants and subpoenas. But many in the community are still skeptical as to what these cameras actually do.
“These are license plate readers, that’s all they do,” says Gorton. “They don’t follow someone down the street. They don’t ticket someone for running a red light. They aren’t speed cameras. They are simply license plate readers.”
Some of the skepticism coming from the fact that the locations of these flock cameras is still unknown. Lexington Police says the cameras are on public streets in places of high crime determined by the police department and Flock Safety. Other hesitations? The community feeling as though the license plate readers don’t address what some consider Lexington’s biggest problem: gun violence.
“Having surveillance makes getting facts and helping to solve a crime after the fact easier, but does that make us any safer? Wouldn’t it be safer if the policing policy we put in place was accepted and embraced by the community?” says Councilmember David Kloiber during a mayoral candidate forum on Wednesday.
“They haven’t reduced gun violence like Group Violence Intervention will do. Those statistics are just related to general crime but GVI works definitely in reducing gun violence,” says Belinda Snead, BUILD board of directors and steering committee for violence.
“They’re really a wonderful, helpful tool. Bringing us into technology that is up to date I think is a really good thing,” says Gorton.
You can see all of the data on the license plate readers and read answers from police to frequently asked questions at the link HERE.