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Right-of-way permits okayed for police cameras

By Lisa Brody

The annual Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) municipal permit to allow the Bloomfield Township Police Department to install Flock safety cameras in traffic right-of-ways was unanimously approved by the township board of trustees at their meeting on Monday, December 11.

Police Chief James Gallagher explained that approving the performance resolution form, MDOT form 2207B, for municipalities, is a requirement to allow the police department to install Flock safety cameras on MDOT right-of-ways in Bloomfield Township.

“MDOT and Oakland County (the Road Commission of Oakland County) must approve the permitting because it's their property,” Gallagher said of the roadways and the right-of-ways, noting the flock cameras will be installed on public right-of-ways.

Bloomfield Township trustees in July 2023 approved the use of automated license plate readers (ALPRs) technology to capture and store digital license plate data and images, while recognizing the established privacy rights of the public. Gallagher said at the time that all data and image gathered by the ALPRs are for official department use only, and Flock is the company that would provide them to the township, and is the same company as Birmingham, Troy, Southfield, West Bloomfield, Auburn Hills and Oakland County Sheriff use.

He explained that with the Flock system, data is not stored beyond 30 days. The system automatically deletes information every 30 days. The data is owned by the township and not Flock, and cannot be shared with any other entity. He said it provides real time crime alerts to a police agency.

“Flock is only photographing the rear of a car,” Gallagher reiterated to trustees. “There is no law enforcement information provided. That we have to do with our standard law enforcement techniques. Having this new technology really makes a difference.”

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