Mentor police cameras take criminals off streets, recovers cars, finds endangered people

The Flock Camera system has helped police take guns and drugs off the streets and also helped in the recovery of endangered people.
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 7:06 PM EDT
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MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - A network of cameras, 15 of them, strategically placed around the city of Mentor and tied into the National Crime Information Center, (N.C.I.C.) a system called Flock, has helped Mentor police take guns and drugs off the street at a significant pace since going online in April.

The cameras, each with multiple lenses, send back license plate data to N.C.I.C., and if there is a warrant attached to that license plate Mentor police get an instant notification and a location of the car, and the system has already proved valuable.

“It was an excellent cost-effective means to really help our police department deter crime and proactively go after criminals in our city,” said Mentor police Capt. Robert Valley.

Valley said the cameras have made 90 documented hits of potential persons of interest to police.

From those, they have made 60 arrests, recovered 21 vehicles, and found four endangered people.

Subsequently, the department has made further arrests on charges involving drugs, trafficking, and illegal firearms.

All important, but Valley pointed to a recent notification the department received of an endangered juvenile who was potentially in the custody of a suspected child predator.

Mentor police stopped the vehicle, but the driver eventually fled and led police on a chase, a chase that was assisted by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The Patrol eventually made the stop, the endangered juvenile was found in the car, and the suspect was arrested by Mentor police.

“The female was in the car, she was safely separated from the sex offender and there was charges against him as well as the female returned back home,” said Capt. Valley, “We could have paid a million dollars for that camera system and it would have been worth it.”

Mentor did not pay a million dollars for the Flock system, making the department quite happy with the investment.

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