BAY VILLAGE, Ohio — It is a crackdown on crime and a new effort to keep residents safe.
The Bay Village Police Department is ramping up efforts by adding some new technology to their force in the form of cameras called "Flock Cameras."
Several area departments already use them, including neighboring Lakewood, Avon Lake and North Olmsted.
Those departments have seen tremendous success in curbing crime and tracking criminals.
Bay Village Police is adding eight cameras in hopes of doing the same.
“It’s a great technology tool. It’s a great law enforcement tool and really, it’s a benefit to the community," said Sergeant Edward Chapman, Bay Village Police Department Public Information Officer.
Posted up at eight different entrances to the city of Bay Village, and sometimes found near railroad tracks like at Columbia Road — you’ll now be greeted by Flock Cameras.
They're often mounted high atop new poles or on existing poles.
The solar-powered devices track who’s coming and going in the area.
“We’re able to monitor traffic in and out of the city. It’s kind of like a force multiplier, really. It’s having somebody there to kind of watch the roads when a police officer is not there," Sergeant Chapman said.
The moveable cameras snap images of license plates as well as the make and model of cars.
Flock then alerts Bay Village Police if a vehicle is stolen, if there’s an active warrant, a missing person report or an AMBER Alert.
It even tells officers if the car belongs to a potential gang member or terrorist.
“If that Flock Camera captures that license plate, it will notify an officer between 5 and 15 seconds of that vehicle passing through here," Sergeant Chapman said.
The Flock system shows the ability to actively monitor over 250,000 cameras. Other agencies have experienced tremendous success with cutting down crime.
Sergeant Chapman stresses the cameras are not a spying tool, and they can’t just randomly monitor people.
He says it's an investigative device to essentially keep the bad guys out and allows officers to work with neighboring departments.
Residents like Chris Mitchell commend the devices--especially after a recent string of crimes in the community and surrounding suburbs.
“I think it’s a good idea. We’ve had a lot of car thefts. We’ve heard about gang activity at night coming into Bay, stealing peoples' cars, going through cars. This could really protect people," Mitchell said.
The cameras will soon start appearing across Bay Village at entrances to the city in the following spots:
1. Lake Road/Rocky River border
2. Lake Road/Avon Lake border
3. Walker Road/Avon Lake border
4. Bradley Road/Naigle Road
5. Bassett Road/Railroad tracks
6. Dover Center Road/Railroad tracks
7. Columbia Road/Railroad tracks
8. Cahoon Road/Railroad tracks
The cameras are leased yearly through Flock.
They’re about $2,500 per year, for each camera. There is an initial fee, as well.
The cameras do not detect speed violations and you cannot be ticketed through them.
Officers say the devices simply track criminal activity through the Flock system.