Sheriff’s office to join local police departments in leasing license plate cameras

Granby Board of Trustees approved the lease of six license plate reader cameras at its meeting on March 14, 2023.
Flock Safety/Courtesy photo

The Grand County Commissioners approved an agreement March 28 between the sheriff’s office and Flock Safety to lease license plate cameras for the next four years. Kremmling Police have Flock cameras already, while Granby and Fraser Winter Park police recently placed orders.

Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said at the commissioner meeting that a grant from the Rural Violent Crime Reduction Initiative will fund the first two years of the camera lease. The sheriff’s office will get 13 cameras, which will cost $39,550 for the first year and $35,000 each year after.

Flock’s camera system uses a subscription model, so the yearly charges cover software and any camera repair. Schroetlin emphasized that the cameras track license plates based on a hotlist, and therefore the movement of cars, not people.

Flock Safety’s cameras have an automatic license plate reader that provides a small snapshot of the rear of the vehicle, with some certain vehicle identifiers and a license plate.
Flock Safety/Courtesy photo

The system already established in Kremmling helped law enforcement catch Tryston Robert Erickson, the Utah man who is a person of interest in a double homicide case, Schroetlin said. The cameras also helped catch people who stole firearms out of a man’s truck in Kremmling.

Schroetlin said he expects the cameras will help law enforcement investigate crimes like car theft and catalytic converter theft.

“It allows us to recover these vehicles, or at least get a direction that they’re heading,” Schroetlin said. “If our partner agencies can pick up those on their cameras, it potentially allows us less vehicle pursuits.”

The sheriff’s office’s cameras will help supplement the other ones leased by police departments and cover more of the county, like Grand Lake. 

The cameras, which Schroetlin said will be placed on highways, capture the “fingerprints” of cars, meaning the back of the car, to get the license plate without photographing the people through the windshield. The Flock system deletes data after 30 days.

Schroetlin said the sheriff’s office will have a 60-day pilot program period to determine the cameras’ effectiveness and decide whether or not to keep them.

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