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Texas HOA using license plate cameras to help prevent and solve crimes in the community

Flock Safety's license plate-reading camera snaps a photo of every car driving by and stores it for 30 days.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — After installing Flock Safety license plate-reading cameras and beefing up the neighborhood watch, Lake Pointe HOA said crime in the community has gone down. 

"A couple of years ago, we were struggling with a lot of petty larceny break-ins," said Lake Pointe HOA President Michael Husband.

Husband said that in 2020, the solar-powered cameras were installed at every entrance into the community. It takes a photo of every vehicle that passes by, capturing the vehicle's license plate, make, model and color. 

"If it's a known car or a suspect car that's been identified as a suspect by local law enforcement, it automatically gets flagged and sent to the Travis County Sheriff's Department for interdiction as well," said Husband.

Husband told KVUE it's been used in at least 20 cases in the neighborhood. He said with the cameras, along with beefing up the neighborhood watch and Travis County Sheriff patrol, crime has gone down in the community. 

"There have been break-ins where we've pulled data from the license plate readers and cooperated that against ring or, you know, home security video footage," said Husband. "Then that we feed that to the police for, you know, their prosecution."

Attorney Quentin Brogdon said when balancing public safety and privacy, this is right on the edge. 

"So, there are legitimate concerns about the loss of privacy on the one hand," said Brogdon. "On the other hand, crimes can be prosecuted and prosecutions can be obtained that otherwise would not be obtainable using this electronic evidence."

According to Flock Safety, the data is stored for 30 days using the same encryption system as by the federal government.

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