In August of 2020, one-year-old Mateo Montufar-Barrera was lounging in a stroller as his mother walked him around their Chamblee, Georgia neighborhood. But their calm lunchtime walk was shattered when, at 12:30 p.m., a man pulled up next to them in a car, pulled out a gun, and kidnapped Mateo. Mateo’s kidnapping activated an AMBER Alert, a federal system designed to notify as many organizations and people as possible about urgent child abductions. All the investigators had to go on was the mother’s eyewitness account of the kidnapper, including a description of the maroon Acura SUV he had driven and a license plate tag number. License plate recognition network Using the power of Flock Safety’s License Plate Recognition camera network, the Chamblee Police Department was able to find the vehicle speeding away from the city on a highway. They sprang into action and apprehended the suspect. Mateo was returned to his mother later that same day, thankfully unharmed. One child missing is too many. That’s why Flock Safety announces an official distribution partnership with the NCMEC to engage a nationwide network of ALPR cameras to broadcast time-sensitive active AMBER Alerts to local law enforcement. The NCMEC’s mission to help find missing children, reduce child exploitation, and prevent child victimization is strongly aligned with Flock Safety’s North Star of eliminating crime. AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System NCMEC is the administrator of the AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System, a voluntary partnership between law enforcement, broadcasters, and private companies to use technology to alert the community of the most urgent child abduction cases. If one has ever received an AMBER Alert notification on their cellphone phone or seen an electronic billboard broadcasting details about a missing child to the roadway, one has seen the power of this system. Machine learning-powered ALPR technology 600+ police agencies in 40 states & 1000+ cities can receive automatic alerts about vehicles associated with AMBER Alert Before this alliance, Flock Safety manually activated its camera system to help law enforcement in cities like Atlanta, Wichita, and Memphis solve seven AMBER Alerts including the case above. Now, 600+ police agencies in 40 states and 1000+ cities can receive automatic alerts about vehicles associated with an active AMBER Alert in their jurisdiction, similar to any other Flock Hotlist alert. “Joining the AMBER Alert Secondary Dissemination System scales our ability to empower local law enforcement with the latest in machine learning-powered ALPR technology and computer vision insights to bring these children home to their families safely,” said Garrett Langley, Flock Safety Co-Founder, and CEO. Time is in short supply Private owners of Flock cameras, such as community HOAs, neighborhood associations, property managers, and business owners, can also participate in this life-saving partnership by choosing to share their camera data with local law enforcement. “During an Amber Alert, time is the enemy. We must utilize every tool possible to reach the community and search for a missing child. The relationship with Flock Safety will allow us to take that search a step further and search active roadways, as well,” says John Bischoff, Vice President of NCMEC’s Missing Children Division.
Video doorbells and security cameras are becoming more and more popular, but some neighborhoods are stepping up security with special cameras that track every license plate going in or out of their streets. Flock safety’s license plate recognition The cameras by Flock Safety, track every license plate that drives through the street A person visited a Los Angeles area neighborhood that has installed the cameras at the entrance and exit to their street. “In the last few years, car break-ins, some vandalism, and a couple of burglaries,” said Robert Shontell, resident and part of the neighborhood watch. He showed their two setups, which consist of a camera, a solar panel, and a cellular modem. The cameras by Flock Safety, track every license plate that drives through the street. Real-time monitoring “Imagine if a detective was standing on the street corner, that’s how the camera works,” said Garrett Langley, founder, and CEO of Flock Safety. He spoke with us via Skype from Atlanta. Footage from the cameras is sent to the cloud in real-time, it can then be easily searched online. “A person like myself yourself can go in and say ‘I’m looking for red trucks that don’t live here that left the neighborhood between 2 PM and 4 PM yesterday’ … Go!” explained Langley. “Almost on the hour, we have a police department that’s using our technology to make an arrest.” Installation and maintenance The cameras are installed on private property but capture public streets. Residents cover the costs of installation and maintenance, which run between $15 and $25 per year on average for each homeowner in the neighborhood using them. Flock says residents can opt of having their cars logged, the homeowners own the footage and it’s removed from the cloud after 30 days for privacy. “I think it works really well, but it’s not an end-all to everything. I think it’s part of a system that you need to develop for your community,” concluded Shontell.