License plate-reading cameras to be installed on Milwaukee's north side in effort to reduce crime

NOW: License plate-reading cameras to be installed on Milwaukee’s north side in effort to reduce crime

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) --New public safety cameras are going up in the Havenwoods community. Havenwood Business Improvement District is buying 14 cameras from Flock Safety. It's a tool that will could help Milwaukee police in their investigations.

"We're thankful that the Havenwoods bid is being part of facilitating us gathering information that's targeted, focused that helps is along the investigations," Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said.

"It will really help out a lot because there's so much stuff that goes on, there were just a few accidents here," Quincy Bonman said. He lives in the neighborhood.

They're automated license plate reading cameras, not used to track speed. Instead, they can track potential suspects. 

The devices will be placed from West Silver Spring North to Good Hope and Sherman Boulevard West to 76th street.

"They'll only be used to solve crimes, they're not used and their not intended to be used to catch speed or to be used for traffic enforcement," Steve Hentzen said. He's the Havenwoods BID board member. 

The cameras take pictures of the back of cars, identifying their make, model and color. If a car passes under one of the cameras and it's already in the database for being wanted or stolen, a patrol officer nearby will get an alert on his laptop in real-time.

"They can find that specific car, that license place, they can go out and find that suspect and that's what we want to do," Josh Thomas said. He's the Flock Safety's vice president.

The images will stay put in the system for 30 days. It will allow police time to match those details with other info they may have about a specific case.

They're hoping to have all 14 installed by summer.

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