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What Is Happening: Waukesha County City Installs Police Cameras at 4 Public Locations

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What Is Happening: Waukesha County City Installs Police Cameras at 4 Public Locations

The Oconomowoc Police Department, located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, has announced the installation of four cameras at public locations for license plate reading purposes.

The police unveiled these new cameras on March 25 through a press release shared on their official Facebook page. According to the release, these cameras from Flock Safety are equipped to send immediate alerts to law enforcement in the event of detecting a stolen vehicle or a wanted individual listed in state or national crime databases. They also trigger alerts if a vehicle associated with a missing person in an AMBER or SILVER Alert is identified.

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Alderman Charles Schellpeper expressed cautiousness during the proposal review by the Common Council, stating concerns about privacy implications and governmental intrusion. The decision to implement such technology was weighed carefully.

Here are the pertinent details:

– The Oconomowoc Police Department has disclosed the locations where the four cameras are deployed:
1. North Lake Road Southbound at East Lisbon Road.
2. East Wisconsin Avenue Westbound at North Lapham Street.
3. Highway 16 Eastbound at Shorehaven.
4. Highway 67 Northbound at Interstate 94.

The police department mentioned that these cameras are also utilized by neighboring law enforcement agencies.

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Reactions to the installation varied. While some expressed apprehension about privacy and surveillance concerns, others supported the initiative, emphasizing the importance of enhancing community safety and aiding law enforcement efforts.

In June 2023, it was reported that Police Chief James Pfister had sought funding from the Common Council for the cameras. The initial budget request amounted to $14,000 for the purchase of four cameras, with ongoing annual costs estimated at $12,000.

It’s important to note that the cameras will not be utilized for enforcing traffic or parking regulations. The Flock Safety system aims to assist in crime prevention and investigation by providing objective evidence. The cameras capture license plates and vehicle characteristics, not individuals’ faces. Access to the database requires justification and is strictly limited to legitimate law enforcement purposes. These cameras are distinct from red-light cameras.

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The Oconomowoc Police Department emphasizes that the Flock Safety Camera serves as a modern tool in crime prevention, aligning with their mission to safeguard the lives and property of Oconomowoc citizens.

For those seeking further information, the police department directs inquiries to the website of the camera company.

 

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