Tipp City latest to add license plate-reader cameras for police use

Eight cameras to be installed, most of them on County Road 25A and Main Street

TIPP CITY — A Flock Safety license plate camera system is expected to be installed in the city by mid-February.

A contract for a system was signed following the approval of this year’s budget by Tipp City Council.

A presentation on the Flock Safety system was made to council last summer by Police Chief Greg Adkins and Detective Sgt. Tony Smith.

The automated license plate readers provide a still image of a vehicle license plate number and send real time alerts if the plate number belongs to a stolen vehicle or one being sought by law enforcement because of an AMBER alert or other missing person alert.

The readers are not used for facial recognition or in traffic enforcement, Adkins said. The readers not only provide information faster but can help police be more efficient, Smith said.

The department approached Flock Safety based on the success of neighboring agencies with the system, Adkins said. Among those with the cameras are Vandalia and Sidney. More than a dozen communities in the greater Dayton area now use the cameras or are in the process of implementing them.

With an agreement, the Tipp City department worked with the vendor to determine locations for the eight cameras included in the budget.

These locations were identified for the cameras.

* Northbound County Road 25A north of West Main Street

* Southbound County Road 25A south of West Main Street

* Southbound County Road 25A south of West Kessler Cowlesville Road

* Southbound County Road 25A at the intersection of Tipp Cowlesville Road

* Westbound West Main Street at I-75

* Eastbound West Main Street at I-75

* Westbound East Main Street. near 4000 block, east side of town

* Northbound Weller Drive at the intersection of Harmony Drive.

Flock Safety owns the devices, maintains information storage, and repairs equipment when needed. The cost for the first year of a two-year agreement is $22,800. The second year is $20,000.

The cameras are being paid for using police department funds from seizure cases involving the Department of Justice. Money in that account can only be used for equipment.

The program’s effectiveness will be reviewed before another contract is pursued, Adkins said.

The data captured by Flock Safety is to be stored and accessible for 30 days, then erased internally by Flock Safety.

“Technology multiplies our force and assists patrol officers with notifications of inbound traffic vehicles that may be connected to a stolen car, a missing or abducted child and violent felony warrants. Flock Safety is real-time proactive alerts sent to the patrol officer’s car to respond quicker to the area,” Adkins said.

Flock Safety successfully helped Tipp City locate a Silver Alert victim in the fall.

“You cannot put a value on solving one of these cases,” Adkins said.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

About the Author