City Council/Neighborhood Watch Joint Session Q&A
Below are answers to questions shared at the City Council Joint Session with Saratoga Neighborhood Watch leads. Many of the questions were related to the Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) Pilot. Learn more about the pilot on the City website at www.saratoga.ca.us/alpr
Where will City ALPR cameras be located?
The 7 locations include: Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road at Prospect Road (capturing southbound traffic)
- Saratoga Avenue at Kosich Drive (capturing southwest-bound traffic)
- Saratoga Avenue at State Route 85 (capturing northeast-bound traffic)
- Saratoga Avenue at State Route 85 (capturing southwest-bound traffic)
- Quito Road at Pollard Road (capturing southbound traffic)
- Fruitvale Avenue at State Route 9 (capturing northbound traffic)
- Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road at Big Basin Way (capturing northbound traffic)
When will City ALPR cameras be installed?
Installation and activation of the system are expected to occur before the end of August.
Will signage be installed at City ALPR camera locations?
Signage will not be installed at camera locations, but the City does plan to place temporary banners throughout the City on a periodic basis to announce the use of ALPR. Additionally, the City will be conducting outreach to encourage residents and neighborhoods to share their own Flock data with the City system.
Can the City add signage on State Route 85 announcing the ALPR system in Saratoga?
No. The City does not have the discretion to install signage on State Route 85, which is managed by the State.
Will the City have an online Flock ALPR Dashboard?
Yes, the City will have a public online Flock ALPR Dashboard that will provide the community with anonymized information about the use of the ALPR system.
What does it mean that Los Altos Hills saw 55 hits after installing its ALPR system?
The Town of Los Altos Hills has 40 cameras that are triggered frequently. However, not all alerts are the result of a unique match on a law enforcement database. Many of the recent ALPR system notifications are the result of license plates that have been reported as lost or stolen but have not yet been replaced. Since vehicles have two license plates, often one of the two plates is reported lost or stolen, which leaves the second plate on the vehicle. When the vehicle passes through a camera, it triggers the system as a match to a lost or stolen plate. This happens almost daily as the owner of the vehicle may live in the Town or be a contractor with business duties in the Town. In addition, there are periodic misreads that add to the system’s total hits. Misreads are license plates that were read incorrectly by the camera.
Can the City use data from privately leased Flock ALPR cameras, such as those operated by a resident or Neighborhood Watch group?
Once the City of Saratoga’s ALPR pilot program goes live, residents or neighborhoods with their own Flock cameras placed on private property will have the option to enable sharing of license plate data captured on their private Flock cameras with the City’s system. The data flow is all one way to the City system; residents and neighborhood groups never receive data about when a license plate identified by a camera matches a license plate on a law enforcement database.
If a license plate detected by a private Flock camera matches a license plate on a law enforcement database, the Sheriff’s Office will be informed so that a deputy can be deployed to the camera location for further investigation just as they would if a match was detected by one of the 7 City of Saratoga ALPR cameras.
Can the feed from non-Flock cameras be integrated with the Flock System?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. We currently do not have an interface that would provide such information.
Is there a list of private/neighborhood cameras that can be shared with the Sheriff’s Office in case footage is needed?
Flock provides the Sheriff’s Office with a map of both government leased cameras and privately leased cameras.
Is there a way to enable the Sheriff’s Office to have quick/immediate access to private non-Flock camera feeds to assist with investigations and apprehension of criminals? What is the best and fastest way to share private non-Flock video footage with the Sheriff’s Office?
The best and fastest way for residents to share footage from a non-Flock Camera is to call the non-emergency number (408.299.2311) and talk with a deputy about the footage.
Why are home burglaries happening more often on Fridays?
Though there is no direct evidence of why some of the residential burglaries are being committed on Fridays, it appears that criminals may be committing burglaries on Fridays to sell the stolen items and fund their weekend plans.
Has there been analysis showing how an active Neighborhood Watch group impacts or does not impact crime?
There has been no analysis showing how an active Neighborhood Watch group impacts crime.
Has there been analysis showing how an alarm system impacts or does not impact crime?
While there has been no analysis of home alarms and their impact on residential burglaries, we do know that they help stop them by virtue of their function. Deputies occasionally get dispatched to a residential alarm call only to encounter evidence of an attempted burglary.
What types of crimes are categorized as sex crimes? Has there been an uptick in sex crimes? What can residents do to be more careful?
Sex crimes as a category include sexual acts by minors, sexual assaults, and anything that is reported to us that has an unlawful sexual act associated with the incident. All 9 incidents this year have been between people that knew each other and did not involve a stranger.