Friday, October 2nd 2020, 6:25 pm
By: Emory Bryan
TULSA, Okla. –
Several Tulsa neighborhoods are adding unique cameras to help solve crime.
Two neighborhoods that cover a square mile near 81st and Sheridan have installed tag reading cameras. They can even sort out cars based on a vague description and help police get a tag number that might identify the driver.
There are signs all over Minshall Park warning that neighbors call police about suspicious activity.
However, that threat isn’t enough to stop criminals, whether it’s vandalism or something more serious, so in Minshall Park and Holland Pointe next door there are new signs, pointing out these cameras.
They are solar powered, cellular connected, tag readers that take neighborhood watch to a new level.
Rick Bahlinger, Minshall Park Homeowners Association, said they can match vehicles with even a vague description.
“It’ll show me every black truck that went past those cameras during those time periods,” Bahlinger said.
Minshall Park just installed cameras at three entrances to the neighborhood, catching tags and descriptions of cars that go by.
Holland Pointe has several more. The cameras used by both are made by “flock safety”. The CEO of the company said cars are almost always connected to neighborhood crimes and the cameras give police evidence they can use.
“We don’t need a face or a person’s sex or race, if we just have a license plate, that’s a fact. That car was here,” Flock Safety CEO Garrett Langley said. “That car might be stolen, they may be wanted, there might be an Amber Alert, but they’re here and that’s something that law enforcement can go act on.”
Bahlinger said he’s matched a doorbell camera picture of a porch pirate to the truck he was driving.
“I went to the cameras and sure enough, I saw that truck on one of our cameras and got a tag. That’s what we’re hoping will be able to happen,” Bahlinger said.
The cameras cost $2,000 each, per year. Bahlinger would like more, and he believes as soon as arrests start happening, all his neighbors will agree. Many neighborhoods have cameras, but not tag readers like these.
Only a handful of people have access to the images, but they can instantly see them and pass them along to police.