April 15, 2024

LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – What’s described as a “safe” Lynn Haven neighborhood, is taking the extra step to ensure it stays that way.

“We’ve got five Flock cameras, or stationary cameras, in the City of Lynn Haven that the city paid for. The Panama City County Club wanted some, so they have paid for two more,” Lynn Haven Police Lieutenant Steve Enfinger said.

The Panama Country Club installed two “Flock Safety” Automated License Plate Reading (ALPR) cameras at each entrance to the neighborhood.

“Because the country club is like any other neighborhood. They’re subject to car burglaries,” said Enfinger.

The Lynn Haven Police Lieutenant says car burglary sprees here only happen a few times a year.

“And by spree I mean like a couple of nights where we may have 15 or 20. I think the last spree was maybe four or five months ago,” said Enfinger.

In hopes to prevent further burglaries, these cameras take a photograph of the back of the vehicle and tag with every vehicle that enters the country club. The tag number is then compared to an FDLE “hot list.”

“If that tag is associated with stolen car, stolen tag, the tag is expired, the registered owner has a suspended drivers license, the registered owner is a missing person or an endangered juvenile, or has a protection order, or has a warrant for their arrest, or is a person of interest where someone in law enforcement wants to talk to them, it will send an alert out to all of our officers that are out there. It sends it right to their computer in their car,” said Enfinger.

This information provides a searchable database so law enforcement can quickly identify and apprehend suspects.

“We get 10 reports where their cars are burglarized the night before, we may have a Ring camera of a red pickup truck cruising through there. We can search the Flock camera system “red pickup truck,” we can pull up tag numbers, or if a witness happens to get a tag number, we can search a tag number and get the image off Flock and see exactly what time they were in there,” said Enfinger.

Enfinger showed an example of a flock camera in action not far away.

“This car, it’s sending me this alert. Eight minutes ago it crossed the Bailey Bridge. The reason it’s sending me this alert is the owner has an invalid license and so you can take this tag number here, we won’t show, but you can run that and verify it and see if that person’s license is indeed suspended,” said Enfinger.

Alerts are sent to all local law enforcement agencies using the system.

“It helps us catch the bad guy, hold him responsible, and recover stolen property,” said Enfinger.

“Flock” representatives said law enforcement agencies report 600 to 700 crimes per day with its cameras, approaching 3% of all reported crime in America.

We reached out to Panama Country Club Homeowners Association board members for comment, but were told everyone was busy Thursday.

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