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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.

Read the full article


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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.

But can one do a privacy act request on the image data if they know they went through a image gathering zone? Be good to see what they really see through this system.

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

Flock cams are stationary that are often placed at intersections. They’re easily spotted because they have solar panels on top.


It was more of a dig at LE in the story then actually knowing what the system really is flocksafety. I don’t know of camera that does this kind of recording that is not stationary, but that does not mean there is not one mounted with a person using it who will move it to follow things.

Maybe I’m missing what you are meaning but scientists created ALPRs long ago that can be mounted to moving vehicles. Where I live, most cop cars have 3 of them – at each corner of the vehicle except for one. They can read every single license plate in sight across at least 6 lanes of traffic. All of the plates that are visible, all the time. All they do is drive around as usual and it reads thousands and thousands of plates per day. It’s a great tool.

However, when it comes to cars Registered to PFRs, it is useless. I gave all my children cars. I’ve always had a lot of cars Registered. And the people that use them get all over the place. My cars have been in other states for months on end. The law enforcement criminals have tried to question me about that from time to time but I just tell them to go f*** themselves. They loved it when my kids were in high school. There were Registered cars all over the place, all the time. I made sure my kids used a lot of different cars and rotated them around a lot. Just for fun.

Also, if I ever decide to commit a crime and need a vehicle, it won’t have a license plate that can be traced to me in any way. Do the criminal regimes think I’m as dumb as they are? Same with email addresses and all that nonsense. Registering that stuff is only effective against people who are just living lawful lives. Duh.

@Will Allen

Technically, you are correct about car mounted units being movable. However, in the spirit of the conversation, it was referring to stationary pole units with solar cells powering them because last I checked, LE cars aren’t solar powered and neither are their ALPRs.

At the same time, the dig still stands at LE in the article because their system takes entire photographs of the vehicle rear to include license plates, not just license plates.

I see.

Related, I expect that the systems that cops have on their vehicles are very capable of taking full pictures of every car seen and even non-stop video, all while recording each individual license plate and storing it all in databases. It would be extremely easy to have a system where a license plate could be queried and it would show full motion video of everywhere that car was, every time, all the time it was in sight of any of their cameras. Very easy. If you drove around their cameras for a day they could easily have 24 hours of video of you driving. All it takes is processing power and disk space. Very cheap these days.

If these criminal regimes really wanted to be more criminal, they could record such video only of PFRs and keep it for forever. Would that be illegal? Or fine for “public safety”?

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


Just a couple of comments.

When you say the recidivism rate is low people hear “the registries are working”.

I would have included a discussion about why law enforcement always says something will be used for “registered sex offenders”. I would’ve given the reasons I believed and asked the reporter to try to verify it.

I also would’ve asked why law enforcement isn’t concerned about drunk drivers.

Yeah, people will draw whatever conclusion they are predisposed to believe. This reminds me of the old joke where a bartender observed that a guy would snap his fingers with each sip of beer. When asked about it, the guy responded “it keeps the pink elephants away.” The bartender laughed and said, “there are no pink elephants around here.” The patron replied, “see, it works doesn’t it?”

See, the registry works, doesn’t it?


That’s funny. Hadn’t heard that one before.

But I do think it is reasonable for a person to automatically assume that the recidivism rates are so low because the Oppression Lists (OLs) “work”. Well, I should say that most people living in Amerika are not smart enough to not automatically assume that. Certainly most people who support the OLs are not smart enough. So I guess it just depends on who a writing is targeting.

All we have to say is that the OLs have not lowered recidivism. Personally, I think it has increased it. But only because that makes the most sense to me.

I think that most Americans are too busy, unconcerned or lazy to search out the truth. It is much easier to simply accept a viewpoint and stick with it. I guess I should have mentioned that studies indicate the registry does not reduce sexual recidivism. Of course, the same people with an uninformed preconception will simply discount that evidence. But that can’t stop us from trying.


Definition of cognitive dissonance : psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously


Couldn’t resist…😁

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.

Law enforcement has never been interested in preventing crime. If crimes could be prevented, they would become less relevant. Law enforcement thrives on being able to actually arrest people for crimes already committed or being committed.

In the sex crime space I can think of alot of things that would be more preventative. For example they could spend some time educating teens about what sex crimes are and the life long consequences of committing them, yet instead they would rather not do this so they can arrest these same teens when they do. Sure they might not listen but they also haven’t had anyone tell them about the real consequences.

Another example is stings. There are also real underaged people on these sites seeking out older people. Why are they not also trying to catch these underage people and get them off of these sites so the crime can’t happen in the first place? Getting parents involved where they can or educating this underaged person to stop doing this? Certainly a real underaged person putting themself out there is far more likely to result in a real crime instead of the fake decoy as the underaged person will eventually find what they are looking for. I never hear about how many crimes they actually prevented by getting underaged people off these sites. How come?

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.

You know, I would almost like to see a federal attempt to register or confiscate guns. The only way they could assert jurisdiction is through the Constitution’s “commerce clause.” This is how the feds gain jurisdiction over nearly everything, from the price of wheat to child pornography.

The production of illegal photos only becomes a federal offense because the camera used–or its components–was not manufactured in the state. A farmer can’t sell wheat exclusively intrastate because it affects the interstate price of wheat. A robbery in NJ became a federal crime because the bodega closed for a few hours which affected interstate commerce in alcohol that was sold by the bodega.

If the gun rights people raise a stink about the commerce clause, something might change. I would love to see the commerce clause be limited to its original intent. That is to allow the feds to resolve or avoid trade disputes between the various states, and to monitor the country’s borders. That would have the effect of returning the primary responsibility for criminal laws and law enforcement to the states. This is also something the Constitution’s framers intended.


@Ed C. Do you think the feds could come after people like us if the rules go forward or if a gun registry were enacted on individual gun owners if we never cross state lines? I’m supposed to come off the registry in about 18 months and i could see myself not going along with anything federal unless they could arrest me lawfully.

Scooby, I’m not a lawyer, nor do I even play one on TV. In the above, I was merely lamenting as to how broadly the commerce clause has been interpreted to allow federal jurisdiction for many things not explicitly stated in the Constitution. This generally applies to guns that have crossed state lines at any point in time. SCOTUS has denied jurisdiction in a few narrow instances, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to raise a novel challenge. Would you really like to spend prison time while waiting for SCOTUS to maybe grant cert and rule in your favor regarding jurisdiction? That is a real longshot (gun pun intended). Even if you win, you lose.

I despise how the commerce clause has caused creeping federal jurisdiction since the 1930s. Although I suspect it will never happen, I’d love to see a constitutional amendment throttling back on the commerce clause. Angry gun owners and powerful gun lobbyists might at least stimulate debate about the clause, or even propose an amendment, if laws become too oppressive. But, I’m not holding my breath.


Strict liability being challenged would help us more than interstate commerce ever could..

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.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x