AL: Law enforcement praises technology for helping fight crime

Source: 11/15/21

Keeping the community safe now comes with the flash of a solar-powered camera. Local law enforcement praised the technology for helping them solve crimes.

These days, no matter where you go, it’s likely your picture has been taken.

Cities across Alabama were ramping up security, installing Flock Cameras as a part of their crime-fighting strategy.

“Stolen vehicle, wanted persons, Silver alerts, Amber Alerts, registered sex offenders and other notifications like that,” Cpt. Shane Ware with the Vestavia Hill’s Police Department explained.

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Steps to ensure privacy…..


Perhaps they can train their cameras upon Vestavia Police Dept. patrol cars when they pull over people of color and other minority populations. I am sure racially based crimes will then be reduced significantly.

The company also takes steps to safeguard privacy.

“We never use facial recognition technology. We don’t identify race or gender. All the footage is automatically deleted every 30 days on a rolling basis. So, there is no massive database that’s being collected here,” Thomas explained.

Well, that’s comforting. I’m sure there’s no backups with infinite retention.

Are they ALPRs or cameras? They mention both. Do they even know?

I was inspired by a comment somewhere in these BLOGs about responding to every bit of incorrect or incomplete information. So being retired and having some time on my hands, I decided I needed to write an email.

Dear Ms. Dionne,

I have just a quick comment regarding your report of Nov. 15, 2021. Captain Shane Ware enumerated several uses for the cameras–stolen vehicles, wanted persons, Silver alerts, Amber alerts, and registered sex offenders. Detecting members of that list has a legitimate law enforcement goal, except for one: that is registered sex offenders. Others on the list represent crimes.

Being a registered sex offender is not a crime. Alerting officers based on registration alone does not contribute to public safety, and will invariably result in harassment of registrants and their families. I can make my public safety comment with great confidence. Data and studies–including from the Department of Justice–indicate an extremely low recidivism rate for that genre of crime. Although statistics vary somewhat, somewhere in the range of 93% to 95% of former offenders will NOT recommit a sex crime. The overall threat from registrants is further mitigated by the facts that well over 90% of assaults against children are perpetrated by family or trusted acquaintances, and that registrants are not a homogeneous group, Yes, the list includes violent rapists, but it also includes some who urinated in an alley or teens who sent explicit selfies to a boyfriend. Law enforcement resources should be directed toward preventing or solving real crime, rather than alerting officers to the mere presence of law-abiding citizens..

Although your report accurately described the use of Flock cameras, Captain Ware’s inclusion of registered sex offenders in his comment deserves deeper inquiry.


My name
City, state

Technology + Law Enforcement = no privacy ^billion.

Leo always seen to conflate the ability to “catching criminals” via technology with preventing crime itself. Tech has enabled far more crime and criminals than it has factually prevented, but the convenience tech brings to investigations is far outweighed by the crime enabled by it. But lauding the bells and whistles via tech gives leo hope in the short run.

I thought it was quite ironic when I read this comment from a reader on a story today about the Biden Administration wanting a federal gun registry. Little do they know that the DOJ has a plan for that, they will come after you personally, thereby bypassing the state altogether. Quite devious isn’t it that they could possibly usurp your state constitutional rights?
1 hour ago
There are few things that would precipitate the break-up of the United States more than some sort of Federal gun registry. Many states will simply not comply, nor will their local law enforcement, eventually creating a de facto separate country. Whether it’s de jure or not would become moot.

Since law encroachment wants to go after me so bad, I should drive around with my middle finger telling them how great of a job they are doing.