Waukesha County City Installs Police Cameras at 4 Public Locations

oconomowoc cameras

Facebook (Oconomowoc PD) Oconomowoc cameras.

The Oconomowoc Police Department in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, is installing four cameras at public locations that will read people’s license plates.

The police announced the new cameras on March 25 in a news release posted to the department’s Facebook page.

According to the release, Flock safety cameras “send real-time alerts to law enforcement when a stolen car or known wanted suspect from a state or national crime database is detected. They also send alerts if a vehicle associated with a missing person in an AMBER or SILVER Alert is detected.”

“It’s a decision we should take very seriously, and consider very carefully,” Oconomowoc Alderman Charles Schellpeper said when the proposal came before the Common Council, according to the Waukesha Freeman. “I worry about encroachment. This will be a government technology that we’re putting on people.”

Here’s what you need to know:

The Oconomowoc Police Department Released the Locations of the 4 Cameras

oconomowoc cameras

Oconomowoc PDThe press release on the Oconomowoc cameras.

On March 25, 2024, the Oconomowoc Police Department “deployed Flock Safety automatic license plate reading (ALPR) cameras” in four public locations, the police wrote.

Those locations are:
1. North Lake Road Southbound at East Lisbon Road.
2. East Wisconsin Avenue Westbound at North Lapham Street.
3. Highway 16 Eastbound at Shorehaven.
4. Highway 67 Northbound at Interstate 94.

Oconomowoc police say the cameras “are used by many surrounding law enforcement agencies.”

Not everyone was a fan of the new cameras. “Just one more way to put everyone’s information in a database and track their every movement. Big brother is ALWAYS watching!!” wrote one person on the police Facebook comment thread.

But other people were supportive of the cameras. “If you’re not doing anything wrong, who cares? I’m all for whatever needs to be done to more easily apprehend those who are putting our communities in danger,” a woman wrote.

In June 2023, the Waukesha Freeman reported that Police Chief James Pfister had gone before the Common Council to request funding for the cameras, writing that the budget amendment requested $14,000 for four cameras. “Ongoing costs after the initial year are pegged at $12,000 annually,” the Freeman reported.

Police Say the Cameras Will Not Be Used for Traffic or Parking Violations

oconomowoc police

Facebook (Oconomowoc police)Oconomowoc police.

The Flock Safety system “also helps law enforcement solve crime by providing objective evidence needed for investigations,” the release says. “According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 7 in 10 crimes are committed with a vehicle. Communities using Flock Safety ALPR have reported crime reductions of up to 70%.”

Oconomowoc police say Flock Safety ALPT Cameras “capture license plates and vehicle characteristic, not people or faces. To ensure system user integrity, each database search requires justification, and may only be conducted for legitimate law enforcement purposes. The cameras are used to solve and reduce property and violent crime. They will not be used for traffic or parking violations. These are not red-light cameras.”

The Flock Safety Camera “is a modern-day crime fighting tool that will support the Oconomowoc Police Department’s missing of protecting the lives and property of citizens within the City of Oconomowoc,” police wrote.

They urged people seeking more information to check out the website of the camera company.

READ NEXT: Wisconsin Students Face Mysterious Illness at School