Irondale Police using new tech to catch crooks

Irondale Police using new tech to catch crooks
Camera system making a difference in Irondale. (Source: John Huddleston)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Irondale police are utilizing new a system of cameras that can read license plates and already they are seeing the benefits.

“It happened yesterday and in less than five minutes of the camera detecting the tag, we got an alert,” said Irondale Detective Sergeant Michael Mangina.

That alert was about a stolen vehicle. Irondale officers found out about it through the camera designed and powered by Flock Safety.

“And we were able to get cars over there, police cars over there, and we found the car,” said Mangina.

The department has been using the technology for about two months.

In that time, it’s led them to recover 6 stolen cars, and make 7 arrests; including people accused of stealing the vehicles, drug arrests, and cases of stolen guns.

The system is usually bought by apartment complexes and neighborhood associations. They monitor the images themselves but can also give police access to the cameras.

Since the police implemented the camera system, it has been considered a success.

“We have to have technology to help us to keep everybody safe. And this is a perfect example of it. And I have not encountered anyone yet, who has talked negatively about it,” said Mangina.

Officers can also set search parameters to show them anything or anyone who walks or drives past a camera during a certain time period.

“We can search vehicles, bicycles, animals, or people,” said Mangina.

They can even get specific when they’re looking for a certain description of a vehicle.

The system is already being utilized by neighboring cities. Mangina hopes this network will cut down on crime in the area.

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