DeKalb County in Georgia has voted to allow the DeKalb Police Department to partner with Flock-protected neighborhoods.
The county commission voted 7-0 Tuesday to approve an agreement with Flock Safety, an Atlanta-based company that markets itself as a crime-solving tool for neighborhoods.
Communities can purchase one of Flock’s license plate readers for their area, using the device to log the license plate numbers of cars that pass by. They can read plates on cars going up to 75 mph, during both day and night and from up to 75 feet away, according to Flock’s website.
The neighborhoods that have Flock cameras can now opt into the public-private partnership with the DeKalb County Police Department, at no cost to the county.
Police officials said investigators will use the cameras to investigate specific crimes, and not to monitor everyday drivers.
“When a crime is reported we can then look to see if a particular vehicle was picked up in that area during that period of time,” interim DeKalb County police Chief Joseph “Jack” Lumpkin told the commission Tuesday. He clarified that communities can ultimately choose whether to share the data with the police department.
“It actually builds a digital, electronic neighborhood watch that the citizens actually control,” Lumpkin said.
In Marietta, the police department purchased five of their own Flock cameras and stationed them around the city. Officials said in April that a camera used during a trial run helped lead to a reduction in crime near Bells Ferry Road at Williams Drive.
Crime rates dropped 34% between July 2018 to March of this year in the area where Marietta police installed the trial license plate reader, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.