Troy PD releases report on license plate reader camera use


By Matt Clevenger

[email protected]

TROY — Almost two months after the installation of Flock safety cameras throughout the city of Troy, the Troy Police Department has released a report on the camera’s use in solving cases, many of which might have been unsolvable without the new camera system.

Information from the camera system has already been used to solve a list of 12 local cases, according to the report, which was released to city council members as part of the Troy Police Department’s regular monthly report to City Council.

“Since a majority of the incidents we investigate involve the use of a vehicle, the license plate readers have provided valuable investigative leads,” Troy Police Chief Shawn McKinney said. “ Without these leads, a majority of the crimes highlighted in the July report to city council probably would have remained unsolved.”

“In addition to the crimes solved, in only the first month of use, we used the cameras to confirm witness statements, find stolen cars, and solve traffic crashes,” McKinney said.

Troy City Council approved a $57,150 contract with Flock Group Inc. to provide automatic license plate reading cameras for the city in April.

“On Friday, June 30, 2023, installation of the nine Flock safety cameras was completed,” the report said. “The following week, July 3 to July 7, officers were assigned usernames/passwords, and an interim policy was put into place.”

The report listed 12 specific cases that have been solved using information from the camera system since it was installed.

On July 3, cameras were used in the case of a woman whose debit card was stolen, the report said. Transactions indicated the card had been used at Walmart, Kohl’s and a Shell gas station in Troy.

“A review of the store’s surveillance cameras led to suspects and their vehicle description, but the license plate number was not visible,” the report said. “Flock cameras provided the license plate number. Upon further investigation, an adult female was charged with theft.”

On July 5, the cameras alerted officers to a Jeep Cherokee stolen from Piqua in the area of West Market Street and US Interstate 75 in Troy.

“An officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled north on I-75,” the report said. “Piqua officers would eventually recover the vehicle, after several additional incidents in Piqua involving the Jeep.”

Also on July 5, the cameras were used to confirm that a suspect vehicle that intentionally rammed another car in the area of Elm Street and West Water Street was in Troy.

“The suspect was charged with five counts of felonious assault, driving under suspension, reckless operation and leaving the scene of a crash,” the report said.

On July 6, the cameras were also used to refute an allegation by a driver who was involved in a single-vehicle crash. The driver was charged for the crash, and driving under suspension.

The cameras have also been used to solve several shoplifting and theft cases, the report said, including two cases of theft from Walmart valued at over $1,600 each, and a case involving the theft of a credit card from a nursing home in Piqua.

“We have heard some citizens’ express concerns about the technology and its use,” McKinney said. “However, most people’s concerns are alleviated after we explain what they do and how we use them. We plan on continuing to provide the successes in order to show transparency on how we’re using the cameras, and evaluate their continued use.”

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