Flint, MI– The Flint Police Department is going to be implementing gunshot-detection, and license plate recognition surveillance technology in one of the city’s highest crime areas.

On Nov. 15, the Flint City Council approved a purchase order of $98,750 to lease 37 new Flock Safety Falcon surveillance cameras with license plate and vehicle recognition technology, as well as footage retention services. 

“Upon detection, Flock services creates an image and recording of the crime and can provide notifications to the Agency,” the purchase request form states. “The Police Department can create, view, search and archive footage and receive notifications. The system will be a great tool for investigations.” 

The cameras will also be integrated with ShotSpotter technology, which can detect the sound and location of gunshots, free of charge, for one year.

Police Chief Terence Green said depending on how the use of ShotSpotter technology goes, the department may request to continue paying for it after the year is up. He estimated that the ShotSpotter technology alone would cost about $25,000 for every three square miles.

“Right now we’re integrating that ShotSpotter technology in our high-crime areas where we get the most offenses of shots being fired, and we’re testing that area for an entire year,” Green said. 

This is the second phase of the police department’s “camera project.”

In May 2021, the police department purchased 25 Flock Falcon cameras for $68,750.00. This price includes the cost of the cameras as well as the $250 implementation fees for each one.

With the additional $98,750 purchase order, Green said the department will likely be requesting $167,500 every couple years from council to continue leasing the cameras and footage retention services, as well as whatever the cost of the ShotSpotter technology may be if they continue to use it. 

So far, Green says it’s worth it. 

“The reason why we’re expanding is because these cameras are very successful in revealing and solving crimes in the city of Flint,” Green said to the council during a committee meeting on Nov. 4. 

The council voted 8-0 to approve the purchase order.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...