SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – The Shaker Heights Police Department is extending and expanding its Flock camera system after several notable successes in the first year of use.
The cameras are in six different intersections around the city. The cameras scan license plates to alert police when a car matching the description of a person of interest drives through.
“It’s been very successful, especially when it comes to returning stolen vehicles back to their rightful owners, and also locating individuals that are missing within our community and outside our community,” Shaker Heights Police Chief Wayne Hudson said.
Hudson said 38 of 42 missing people were located, thanks to Flock.
“For me, returning a loved one home to their family, especially someone who may have dementia or some mental health challenges, to me, that’s fulfilling,” he said.
It has also helped successfully find a suspect that was wanted in connection with a homicide.
Those collective reasons lead to why the program is being extended for the next five years. The extension will cost $88,150 but also includes a seventh camera that will be added later this year.
“It’s a tool in out toolbox for the overall security and posture of our police department and of our city,” Hudson said. “Because the main goal of any police department is to make sure we keep our city safe.”
Hudson said the data that is being gathered is encrypted, so no one other than the police will be accessing it, solely for the purpose of finding cars that match the description of a missing person or a person of interest in connection with a crime.