A Richmond neighborhood took steps to heighten security by recently installing 19 security cameras.
Country Club Vista HOA purchased the cameras from Atlanta startup company Flock Safety in order to monitor an area covering 645 homes, according to company officials. The wireless outdoor cameras can read and record the license plates of passing cars during the day and night and will collectively store up to 500 hours of footage daily, according to the company.
A neighbor we spoke with Wednesday applauded the extra security, saying she has lost her medication to mail theft in the past.
Flock Safety cameras can be installed anywhere without existing infrastructure, according to the company. Another interesting function is they don’t require users to comb through 500 hours of footage. Like a Google search, the systems allow users to type in the time frame that a crime occurred into a search field, and even the color and model of a suspect vehicle, so the desired footage can be isolated with less effort.
Best part? The $1,500 cameras are far less expensive than those purchased by police agencies, which can go between $20,000 and $40,000. While cameras deployed by police can read the license plates on cars going as fast as 160 mph, Flock Safety’s technology catches cars going under 65 mph. The company’s founder and CEO, Garrett Langley, said his company set out to solve the problem of building an affordable system that can help crack down on nagging nonviolent crimes that often go unsolved in neighborhoods, such as car and home break-ins and package thefts.
“We work with a lot of suburban and rural communities,” Langley said, adding the bulk of his customers thus far have been home owners associations.
In terms of privacy, the recorded data is owned by the neighborhood, not Flock Safety, Langley said.
“I believe that neighborhoods should own this data, and they do,” he said. “We have no rights to view, sell, or re-purpose this footage.”