By Shawnte Passmore

ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – Many drivers pass Roseville Galleria every day without knowing their license plates are detected by special cameras—but this is not the typical red-light camera.

Instead, this camera aims to use the information it captures to stop the bad guys from breaking the law.

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One of the best pieces of evidence for law enforcement is video evidence of someone committing a crime, said Lt. Jeff Kook of the Roseville Police Department. It’s video evidence that can also prevent a crime, and 70% of crime is committed with a vehicle, Kool said.

The department explains in a video that it switched to a software program called Flock Safety in 2021. Not only are area law enforcement agencies using the program, but so are private entities like businesses and homeowners associations, according to Roseville police.

Essentially, the cameras snap photos of license plates from the rear. Then, the plate number is compared against stolen or wanted cars. If there’s a hit, the department is alerted.

The city has 10 devices at traffic lights, but the police department has been approved to add 10 more devices starting in May.

Kool said out of 101 enforcement-related incidents from last year, 66 resulted in arrests while 98% of the cars were stolen from outside of Roseville.

Yet, the high-tech tool is raising some concerns.

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“It’s kind of invasion of privacy,” said Brandon Miller of Antelope.

Meanwhile, others say public safety trumps privacy.

“It’s a tool for the police department and I think they need that to solve crimes,” said Bob Carter of Sacramento.

Lisa Wehe of Citrus Heights says she supports the technology, too.

“Oh yeah, I’m concerned about the crime. Definitely,” Wehe said.

Understanding privacy concerns, Roseville police said the cameras don’t capture inside the cars. Data is also stored in its system for 60 days.

For police, they say they are just trying to stay ahead of the crooks.

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“That’s the most important goal of this whole program: to prevent crimes before they occur,” Kool said.

Shawnte Passmore