Q&A With Chief Golden Regarding Flock Cameras

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Questions Submitted By NordoniaHills.News

  1.  Where are the cameras placed?    They have been placed where we feel they will best accomplish our goals.
  2. Will a location list be available?    The list will not be published.
  3. Can the cameras be moved?    They can be moved but it requires set up and power so it would be rare that we move a camera.
  4. What will prevent a disgruntled employee or citizen from using them?    The cameras are meant for law enforcement and used only when needed for investigative purposes.  Citizens have no access to the system.
  5. How exactly does the system work?    The system functions in the following way: the camera captures a picture of a vehicle/license plate.  The system runs the license plate thru NCIC, it does not run the plate thru LEADS.  If the plate comes back as stolen or the registered owner has a felony warrant the information is sent back to the local jurisdiction via their MDT’s (mobile data terminals aka computers in the cars) and the location that the image was captured.  The system also keeps the images for 30 days then rewrites over the data.  
  6. Will this system cut down on crime?    The system has proven to reduce crime where they are installed so I believe they will cut down on crime here.  In addition, they will save large amounts of investigative time for officers by making it easier to identify suspect/vehicles.
  7. How will it cut down on crime?    Several ways.  Typically, when someone or a group of individuals drive into our City in a stolen vehicle they are here to commit crimes.  With the camera system, as soon as they pass a camera we are notified and officers head to that area.  Usually the vehicle is found and the subjects leave the area before they can commit any crimes.  Also, prior to the cameras being installed one major problem the police dept. had was getting the license plate of a suspect’s vehicle.  We usually are told the color, make, model, etc. by witnesses, images or video.  This system enables us to search the database by color, make, model, etc.  Now, we can run a search and the system will list all the vehicles that meet those parameters entered.  The result is usually the suspect vehicle. 
  8. How do we know this will not be used for a speed trap?    The camera system has no means of capturing speeds.  That’s not what they do.
  9. Can police proactively alert without running every plate/owner …?  If they get notification of an active warrant or suspended drivers license – is it immediate and does the PD dispatch to that location to question/detain the driver?    I answered this question above.  The system doesn’t run license plates thru LEADS.  It runs plates thru NCIC.  Your driving history, license plate status, etc.  are contained in LEADS.  Stolen plates, felony warrants, etc are contained in NCIC.   Big difference. 
  10. Is the intention to make sure those with open warrants avoid the area?  The intention is to reduce crime in Macedonia. 
  11. Or catch those committing crimes in the City?    If someone commits a crime in Macedonia and they get away in a vehicle before we can apprehend them there is a good chance we will be able to determine who they are by the vehicle they used.
  12. Will they or the agency supporting the this technology ever sell the information to outside businesses?    The City owns the data captured.  The City does not plan to sell the data.
  13. Ever use it to issue traffic tickets?    Typically, no, but there are exceptions.  For example, late one night we had a vehicle drive thru town.  The driver lost control and took out a guard rail and damaged property in several yards.  We have a clear picture of the vehicle.  We can see the make, model and color but can’t see the license plate.  We were unable to determine the plate /owner of the vehicle thereby requiring the City and homeowners to pay for the repairs.  If this system was operating when this happened we could enter the information we knew into the system.  The system would show us every vehicle, with license plate, that matched the parameters in that particular time period.  The responsible party would be issued a ticket for failure to control and leaving the scene of an accident.  The system does not issue traffic tickets like some speed camera systems in other jurisdictions.  That’s a completely different system and those who confuse the two or say this system will be used to do it in the future are completely wrong.
  14. I guess the crime rate in Macedonia is high enough to warrant this?    Nothing has transpired nor has the crime rate in Macedonia reached a certain level to say these are “warranted.”  Every city has crime.  These cameras will notify us when criminals in stolen cars enter our town and will greatly reduce the time officers spend trying to identify suspects.  This is new technology that’s sweeping across the country.  Most cities in Cuyahoga County are installing or have installed this system and we are one of the first in Summit County to do so.  As this is being written several other cities in Summit County are in the process of installing this system.  The system works and police departments are utilizing it. 
  15. And what will the police do if a former felon drives thru town?    Nothing.  We won’t know.
  16. Will they chase them down and apprehend them?   No.  I’m not sure why would we chase them down and apprehend them. It’s not illegal for a former felon to drive through town. ???
  17. I don’t get what the ultimate goal is supposed to be with these cameras?    The ultimate goal is to reduce crime and make it easier to identify those who have committed crime in Macedonia.
  18. How do you think it knows if the plate has been reported stolen, or if a felon owns the vehicle?    I’ve explained this above.  The system runs the plate thru NCIC. 
  19. It won’t run your plate… but it’ll tell them if it’s a stolen or a criminal owns it.  So isn’t that running the plate?    Again, explained above.
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