You aren't alone if you've noticed these cameras popping up all over the city, here's what those cameras do (and don't) do.

What's Up With Those Cameras?

You may have been driving down the road in Evansville and seen a camera on a pole with a solar panel on top of it and wondered, what the heck is that, and what does it do? You may remember back in 2022, the Evansville Police Department announced that through donations and grant money, they were able to purchase a few dozen Flock Safety cameras to place around the city.

Recently I've noticed these cameras around town where I hadn't noticed them before, so I don't know if they have gotten more of these cameras, or if EPD has just moved them around to new locations. I've also seen a few posts on Facebook recently where people are asking about these cameras and what they do, so I figured it's probably not a bad idea for a little refresher.  These specific cameras are Automatic License Plate Readers (or ALPR for short).

Photo Courtesy of Flock Safety
Photo Courtesy of Flock Safety

What Do Automatic License Plate Readers Do?

I'll be honest, when I first saw these cameras while out driving I immediately checked my speed because I was afraid I'd get a ticket in the mail or something.  Well if you had that same thought as me, don't worry you can rest assured knowing that's not what these cameras are used for.

EPD said in the informational Facebook post that these cameras aren't set up to catch people for minor traffic violations, and even If they did catch your license plate while you were speeding that wouldn't give officers probable cause to write you a traffic citation.  What these cameras actually do is pretty impressive, and has already helped assist law enforcement in many cases.

According to Evansville Police Department's Facebook post, the cameras are to help with things like identifying stolen vehicles, they will also be able to identify vehicles that are in areas where shootings occur. These cameras will also help to quickly identify vehicles involved in missing person cases, stolen vehicles, etc...


Photo Courtesy of Flock Safety
Photo Courtesy of Flock Safety

A Prime Example of How These Cameras Are Used

Just recently on June 17th, 2024, the Evansville Police Department took to Facebook to share a news release about recent arrests for a bank robbery that took place in Evansville in 2023.  The Flock cameras were a piece of the puzzle that the Evansville Police Department utilized to help aid in this arrest.

News Release
23-16261 (Update)
June 17, 2024
EPD Detectives Shared Lead Information Resulting in Bank Robbery Arrests
In August of 2023 Evansville’s Indiana Members Credit Union was robbed by an unidentified male. Once he secured money, he fled to an awaiting car nearby. Evansville detectives identified a potential suspect vehicle after a neighborhood canvas which included reviews of residential, commercial, and law enforcement (FLOCK) camera footage. This lead information was distributed via law enforcement information sharing databases. Due to the nature of the robbery, EPD also sought assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Approximately three months later a second bank, in Tennessee, was robbed under similar circumstances. Using EPD’s lead information and information gathered during their investigation, Tennessee investigators were able to identify two persons of interest in their robbery. In May of this year, a third bank robbery occurred in Kentucky, with the MO being the same as the previous two bank robberies.
With the help of multiple agencies and information gathered/shared, on June 13th search warrants and arrest warrants were executed at a residence in Tennessee. Markez Wynn (25) and Stephen Hampton (25) were arrested for the bank robbery that occurred in Kentucky; they are presumed to be the same suspects in the bank robberies that occurred in Indiana and Tennessee
WKDQ-FM logo
Get our free mobile app
You can read the full news release from EPD below.

Are these cameras in other cities?

Evansville Police Department says that these cameras are currently being used in over 2,000 cities across 40 different states.  The company behind the cameras reports a 70% decrease in overall crime reduction after using these cameras.

LOOK: Movies and TV shows casting in Indiana

Backstage compiled a list of movies and TV shows casting in Indiana.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From WKDQ-FM