MILAN, N.M. (KRQE) – The village of Milan is getting some extra eyes as they go high-tech to help fight crime and keep the community safe. “This is going to help us be proactive so that if something comes up we can act on it right then,” said Milan Police Department Spokesperson Sergeant Joe Galindo.
Story continues below
- Tax: Turbo Tax opts out of IRS’s Free File program
- KRQE En Español: Martes 18 de Enero 2022
- Crime: Suspect arrested after DNA links him to 1999 rape cold case
- New Mexico: New Mexico governor delivers 2022 State of the State address
The department partnered with a tech startup, Flock Safety, to install two license plate reading cameras around the village. One near the interstate and the other near Milan Elementary School. The cameras scan a vehicle’s license plate and can send a real-time alert to police when a car comes up stolen or if the driver is a fugitive.
“It’s in the national Crime Information Center so if they’re entered and it’s stolen, it’s an Amber Alert vehicle that’s been entered into the system, endangered person or a sex offenders vehicle that’s registered to a sex offender, it’s going to send us an email saying it’s in our area and the camera is going to take a picture of the back of that vehicle and the license plate itself,” said Galindo.
Some asked why the technology is being used in a village with just a few thousand people but Galindo says Milan is the perfect place for the cameras. “We have two major truck stops coming off the interstate and you never know who’s going to be coming through this area,” said Galindo.
For those with concerns about privacy asking whether the cameras capture people’s faces, they don’t.
“It doesn’t use facial recognition, it doesn’t do traffic violations, the other thing is that we really care a lot about privacy. We care about protecting people’s individual privacy so there’s no personal identifiable information coming off these cameras,” said Flock Safety Marketing Vice President, Josh Thomas.
So far, the cameras have picked up five cases in Milan and officials were able to make contact with two out of those five cases. Galindo says the alerts that came up were all for stolen vehicles. Flock Safety says the cameras have been shown to reduce crime by up to 70%. Milan Police hope to add a third license plate scanning camera within the next month.
According to a news release from Flock Safety, their technology is currently used by law enforcement and communities in over 1,400 cities across the U.S.