Flock cameras appear to be paying off, according to Lexington police

Flock cameras appear to be paying off, according to Lexington police
Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 5:44 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A new tool for the Lexington Police Department appears to be paying off.

The city says the installation is complete for 25 flock cameras, which are used to help track down stolen vehicles, missing people or cars involved in a crime.

“The system has been used to make arrests on felonious assaults within an hour. Before the investigators really ever get involved which is awesome, which is great. What we want to see is the patrol officers taking the initiative and finding the people and putting them in jail,” Lexington police Commander Matthew Greathouse said.

In recent years, interagency sharing of information and technology has become vital in fighting crime.

“We actually had a homicide suspect that came from just north of Cincinnati, they saw we had cameras. They contacted us. We weren’t sharing with them at the time, but we did,” Greathouse said. “They were able to search the database and see that that vehicle that was used in the commission of a murder the day before, was then seen in our community the next day and we were actually able to find that person the next day in a hotel.”

When the program was first announced, there were concerns about privacy and targeting information. Greathouse said they’ve conducted audits and have found no inaccuracies.

“It’s really hard to get in there and abuse the system because you’re just looking at pictures. You’re just looking at the rear end of a vehicle with a tag number, that’s really it,” Greathouse said.

He said this pilot program is the beginning of building a network of protection within the community.

“You pretty much won’t be able to go anywhere and commit a crime without being seen somewhere by a camera,” Greathouse said.

He said they aren’t designed to deter crime necessarily, but more so used to solve crimes. They’ve already been able to recover 73 stolen vehicles, which allowed about $1.2 million of assets to be returned to the community.