Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Across Wisconsin, 75 law enforcement agencies rely on the help of flock safety cameras to track down vehicles they’re looking for.
Sergeant Jake Henning with the Altoona Police Department says they are in the process of becoming one of those agencies.
“Within a couple of months, they should be deployed.”
Holly Beilin with flock safety says the cameras are a game changer.
“While license plate readers were out there, they were prohibitively expensive. Very large and unwieldy and difficult to install. They required electrical wiring and wi-fi hookups and stuff like that.”
She says these cameras are solar paneled and their size makes them easy to install.
“So, you can see one right behind me. These are still cameras that are motion activated. They capture a picture of the back of vehicles and their license plates every time the vehicle passes the camera.”
In fact, the cameras can read license plates from 75 feet away with cars going up to a hundred miles per hour.
The cameras have been credited with tracking down a stolen U-Haul from Eau Claire last month. Law enforcement in Barron County arrested two suspects.
The Altoona Police Department hopes to install 6 of the cameras in the city.
“Basically, the idea is to be able to track what vehicles are in Altoona if there’s a crime that occurs so we can basically eliminate vehicles or include vehicles that we might suspect.”
Henning says he hopes this move to install the flock safety cameras could inspire other local law enforcement agencies to do the same.
“You know, if they are successful, I hope we can implement more in the area so we can continue to increase safety in the area. Kind of gets a general deterrence out there. If you commit crimes in Altoona, we’re probably going to find you.”
Beilin says the cameras have been installed in 45 different states. She also says one major town tracked how helpful the cameras have been with recovering vehicles, cutting down its tracking time from ten days to five days.