Tell City Police Adopt New Camera Surveillance System


TELL CITY, Ind. (WFIE) – The Tell City Police Department is testing a new tool focused on road safety.

Drivers may or may not notice new cameras around town, but that’s the point.

“The camera does not collect personal information from the driver,” said Tell City Police Chief Derrick Lawalin. “All he does is take a picture of the license plate.”

Chief Lawalin talks about new herd safety equipment across the county.

This equipment is not intended to catch people for minor infractions such as speeding or texting and driving. Instead, its goal is to commit more serious crimes.

“We have a layer of protection for them,” Chief Lawalin said. “That in the event that we possibly have an Amber Alert or a violent offender whose license plate has been entered into the network, we will receive real-time notifications that the vehicle has passed through one of these cameras. . “

At no cost to taxpayers and funded entirely by an anonymous donor, police say they are just trying to be proactive.

“When people understand the objective, they will see that it is a great law enforcement tool that could very well help them in their worst days,” said Chief Lawalin. “So that’s what we do it for, and we pride ourselves on being able to solve crimes and make our citizens feel safe. We certainly don’t want them to feel compromised.

In a brief description of how the system works, Chief Lawalin was able to find our 14th News vehicle entering Tell City when we arrived on Saturday.

As our license plate is not reported, the police chief had to use some search options to find it. All that was needed was the make of the car.

“We know it’s a Ford, we know it’s white, we would look,” said Chief Lawalin. “We would get all white Fords from that period. “

The only images captured are license plate images. During this time, no photo of the driver’s face was taken.

So what happens to all these images captured by the system?

“It’s on the cloud like a lot of other software, or body cameras as well,” said Chief Lawalin. “This cloud has been effective for so long and it’s just closed. I am not aware of any archive capable of recovering anything before this time.

The police chief says the program is fully paid for the first year.

If officials see success with the new security system, they hope sponsors will keep the cameras on for years to come, without affecting taxpayers.

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