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Residents in West respond to Flock Safety camera spotted around the city

Here's why and how police are using them
Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 21, 2024

WEST, Texas — "I'm glad it's there I'm all for it," said Michael Bishop.

Michael Bishop is one of our neighbors in West.

He tells me there could be benefits to the new flock safety cameras installed by the West Police Department. Bishop tells me a few things attracted him and his wife to West; kolaches, affordable homes, and…

"Cause the crime is so low here, a small community everybody knows your business in a small community," said Bishop.

It seems like the West Police Department wants to keep it that way. Back in April, the department announced nine flock safety cameras.

Flock cameras have automated license plate reading technology.

They alert the police department in real-time -- for things like stolen vehicles, cars connected with amber alerts, sex offenders and those who have warrants for their arrest.

"For them to be able to not have to sit around and not have to try to have 18 different officers out all the time monitoring I think it's a lot easier for them to do their job without having to really stress that out," said Ethan Gonzales, a resident of West.

The big question is, do they work? I tried reaching out to the police department to get more information but no one has gotten back to me.

So I did some more digging. In May, West PD said they were able to make their first arrest with the help of the safety cameras.

Police were altered of a vehicle belonging to a person with an active warrant, by one of the cameras. They were wanted out of Hill County for a DWI.

Under that same post, one person wrote that they believed the cameras are a violation of the constitution while another wrote they don't believe it's for safety.

"What outweighs what? The crime? What kinda of privacy? Are you trying to hide something? That's the only people that would go against something like that," said Bishop.