The city of Anderson to Install License Plate Reader Cameras for Crime Reduction
Mayor Thomas Broderick, Jr. and Anderson Police Department Chief Michael Lee have announced that the City of Anderson Police Department has entered into a two-year agreement with Flock Safety to install 21 Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) in strategic areas around the city to help solve and reduce crime.
According to a joint statement issued by the mayor and the chief, “This is a proactive step that is intended to aid in the prevention of crime in Anderson. The cameras are built by Flock Safety, a public safety technology company that helps neighborhoods, communities, and law enforcement work together to fight crime. Flock Safety ALPR cameras help law enforcement investigate crime by providing objective evidence —license plates and vehicle characteristics.”
Chief Michael Lee stated, “The ALPRs are high-tech cameras that capture computer-readable images of license plates, allowing law enforcement agencies to compare plate numbers against those of stolen cars, cars driven by people suspected of being involved in criminal activities or aiding in the location of missing persons. The cameras are used to solve property-related or violent crimes and will not be used for minor traffic or parking violations.”
The mayor and the chief explained that the Anderson Police Department will maintain an updated policy concerning usage of the ALPR system. Each search will require a justification, and the data will never be sold or shared with third parties.
Mayor Broderick commented, “Public safety is a top priority. These cameras will be an excellent tool for our law enforcement officers that will help us to reduce crime in our community.” Mayor Broderick explained that earlier in the year, he was approached by Chief Lee regarding several new initiatives pertaining to public safety. Broderick stated, “The APLR was one of the new tools the Chief wanted to utilize. I fully support the chief’s efforts and those of our exceptional officers. This is a state-of-the-art technology that will aid our officers in catching criminals while at the same time being a great deterrent to criminal activity.”
Cameras also can send real-time alerts to law enforcement when a known suspect or vehicle in a state or national crime database enters Anderson. These can be critical tools in the case of an AMBER or Silver alert. Mayor Broderick stated, “The ALPR agreement with Flock security is funded through the Public Safety Local Income tax that was approved by the Madison County Tax Council in 2022. Anderson put funds in our approved 2023 budget for the use of this program, as well as additional funds for other public safety initiatives that we will be unveiling in the next few months.” The cost is $2,500 per camera per year. Flock Safety installs and maintains the cameras and provides the software and storage of the information in a secure database.
Currently, there are several hundred cameras deployed in locations throughout central Indiana, including Madison County, Ingalls, Muncie, Fishers, Noblesville, and Indianapolis. According to Flock Safety, cameras are in use in over 2,000 cities across 40 states, and the company works with thousands of law enforcement agencies. “At Flock Safety, we believe in building strong bonds between police departments and the citizens they pledge to protect, and we’re proud to partner with the Anderson and Madison County Police Departments to help them in the pursuit of public safety,” said Garrett Langley, CEO of Flock Safety. Details about the product, and the law enforcement agencies in Madison County that are utilizing the system, will be presented at a press conference on Thursday, October 20 at 12:00 pm, in the Madison County Commissioners conference room. Several area law enforcement agencies and representatives from Flock Safety will be in attendance.