Poland Schools deploy new license plate readers
Poland's School system will soon be hosting a new camera system designed to proactively alert police of stolen vehicles, wanted offenders, and missing persons.
The system, provided by Flock Safety, works by reading license plates of cars that pass by and building so-called "fingerprints" for vehicles that allow law enforcement officials to track vehicles more efficiently.
According to an informational video from Flock, the readers collect license plate information and vehicle characteristics like its make, model, and color, then run the information through police databases.
From there, the readers can automatically inform local law enforcement of stolen vehicles, vehicles whose owners have warrants for their arrests, registered sex offenders, missing persons, and even statewide advisories like amber alerts.
"It checks to make sure there's not a stolen car, a sex offender, a violent criminal of any kind," explained Craig Hockenberry, Superintendent with Poland Local Schools. "Or somebody with warrants out for their arrest."
In some cases, the company says, the cameras can send notifications directly to the phones and computers of local law enforcement to allow for real-time tracking of wanted suspects and vehicles.
"In about 7 seconds, it runs you through the database," Hockenberry explained.
"They're able to detect an entrance of school grounds when anyone who shouldn't be on a school campus is entering the grounds and automatically alert law enforcement in just a few seconds," said Holly Beilin, with Flock Cameras.
One case shared by the company in a video allowed police in Georgia to track the suspect in a kidnapping across jurisdictions, allowing them to apprehend the suspect and recover the 6-month-old child.
Hockenberry explained it gives the school system, "an opportunity to strengthen our perimeter."
"School safety is on everyone's mind nowadays," Beilin said. "It's so incredibly important for communities and parents are scared rightfully so."
"It's not going to stop anything, but it certainly going to add a layer of security and a layer of support," Hockenberry said.
The cameras were paid for by the village's Safety Grant from the state and are located around every school in the district.