As you probably know, crime has been a big concern for many residents lately. There have been a few recent incidents, and multiple law enforcement officers have stated that we can expect things to get worse, not better, with the huge subdivision building up around us. We have been researching this issue extensively for months, and after careful evaluation, decided upon a proven entrance camera system.
That system is by Flock Safety, and was shown at the recent annual meeting. A Flock camera is being installed at each of our 3 entrances. (We will add another when DR Horton connects the 8th filing to Whispering Springs.) The cameras are small, solar-powered, and store their data online via cellular connections. They are triggered by motion, recording the license plate number, color, and make of each vehicle entering our subdivision. The license number is checked against the National Crime Information Center database, and an alert is automatically sent to the Sheriff’s Office if the plate is flagged for any of the following:
- Stolen vehicle
- Stolen plate
- Active felony warrant
- Gang / terrorist threat
- Sex offender
- Missing person / Amber Alert
The system also keeps track of how often a particular vehicle has been detected, when it was last detected, etc.
Very importantly, the Flock data is encrypted, and is only kept for a rolling 30 days. Access to the data is strictly limited to the HOA board and law enforcement, with all logins recorded and requiring a valid reason. The data cannot and will not be used for anything other than solving crime.
The cost of each camera is $2000 per year, so our 3 cameras total $6000. This includes installation, data, repairs, replacement, etc. and works out to only about $25 per resident. With the amount of money we are saving as a self-managed subdivision, we felt that safety and crime deterrence are two of the best ways we could invest in Spring Lake, and Flock has proven to be a great investment for neighborhoods in at least 36 states, including right here at home.
A Livingston Parish detective, who also lives in Spring Lake, works several Livingston neighborhoods equipped with Flock entrance cameras. He told us that in the largest of these neighborhoods, the Flock system enabled him to solve ALL of the vehicle thefts and break-ins which occurred there, along with many other residential and property crimes throughout the areas he covers.
Another example of Flock’s effectiveness is the town of Trussville, AL. They recently installed Flock cameras, which detected 59 flagged vehicles in their first 30 days of operation!
(Click here for the story.)
Take a look at these videos for more information about the Flock system:
- What’s All The News About? (1:03)
- How Flock Safety Helped Solve Crime As Told By A Neighbor (0:59)
- Crime Plummets in Colorado Town After Installing Flock Cameras (2:15)
- Flock Safety Overview (4:34)
As a resident of Spring Lake, there is nothing you need to do with regard to these cameras. If you want to, you can have your plate numbers added to a list of those belonging to residents. This is voluntary, and will allow law enforcement to quickly eliminate resident license plates in the event they are searching the data following a crime.
You can also choose to have the Flock system ignore your plate numbers completely. With this option however, your vehicle will be ignored even if it is stolen, so this is not recommended.
Other than seeing the Flock cameras at our entrances, nothing will happen with them or their data unless a crime is reported. If a crime occurs, notify the Sheriff’s Office immediately so they can access the data and search for a suspect vehicle. Always report a crime as soon as possible, so that the chances of catching the criminal and recovering any stolen property are greater. And remember, the Flock data is only kept for 30 days.
Our cameras are scheduled for installation this coming Monday, February 17, followed by a couple of days of testing and setup. Our system should then be operational on Thursday, February 20.
We have a lot more announcements coming soon, but wanted to let everyone know about the Flock cameras, since they are proceeding well ahead of their initial estimated schedule.
We are very excited about putting this system to work protecting Spring Lake. It comes with signs warning all potential criminals that they are being recorded, which is itself a deterrent. But, if criminals ignore those warnings and commit crimes in our subdivision, we’ll now have a powerful tool to help identify them and bring them to justice.
Contact us with any questions, or if you want to add your plate numbers to the resident list.