EVERETT, May 28: The Everett Police Department will present its potential public safety technology pilot program with Flock Safety, a crime-reducing technology, in front of the Everett City Council today.

“Flock focuses on technology that provides objective, actionable evidence. Because we believe every community deserves to be safe, and in order to solve crime – you need evidence,according to the Flock Safety website.

Everett police chief John DeRousse and Flock Safety Community engagement manager Kristen MacLeod gave a briefing on Flock Safe security last week during the Safe Community Committee meeting.

Screenshot taken from the Safety Community Commitee of the Everett Police Departments presentation with Flock Safety. What the technology does and does not do, May 22.

“We want people to feel safe in public spaces such as our city parks. As a lot of communities are rebuilding trust, our police response, our ability to respond and solve crimes is a big part of building trust, so here’s the opportunity. Here is why we’re sitting here today,DeRousse said during the meeting.

DeRousse said that after a New York Times article detailing the pandemic’s effect on violent crimes and its impact on Everett was published, he initiated a crime analysis of the city. The analysis found that there was an increase in violent crime in North Jackson Park, Central Lions Park and South Walter Hall Park.

In and around those three parks are where the cameras will be located DeRousse said. For the past two weeks, the department has been doing community outreach to speak with residents about what this technology does and does not do.

What technology will be included in the agreement and what do they do?

Falcon camera: License place reading camera

The police department plans to lease 74 of these cameras and place them in and around the three parks mentioned above. These capture the rear of a vehicle and operate at all hours of the day.

If the system detects a match of a vehicle that has been reported as stolen, associated with a crime, or listed in an AMBER, Silver or Missing or Endangered Persons Alert, the department will be notified through a department-issued cell phone or to the police vehicle laptop. It will take 20 seconds after the camera detects a match to send it to the police department, according to MacLeod.

“There are no people in our system, there is no facial recognition technology, this is not speed tracking and it’s solely to provide that indiscriminate evidence to officers,MacLeod said.

Condor camera: Pan tilt zoom camera

The department is looking to install three of these cameras, one in each park listed above. The purpose of these cameras is to see what is occurring in the parks before arriving in real time according to DeRousse. Based on the information given, they can determine a strategy plan.

Privacy Concerns:

  • Footage owned 100% by the city
  • Flock will never sell or share data
  • 30-day data retention, automatically hard deleted unless retained for criminal investigations
  • Reoccurring audits on how it is being used to ensure it is being used correctly and shared with the community through a public domain according to DeRousse.
  • Everett Police Department can allow or not allow other law enforcement agencies to access information gathered

Police departments in Arlington, Marysville and Kent are among those who have already initiated Flock Safety.

The police department has applied for grants with Washington Auto Theft Authority and Project Safe Neighborhoods which are in the final process. If all goes through the grants will fund the program for two years. The estimated cost is roughly $250,000 a year for 73 cameras according to DeRousse.

For more information about the Flock Safety System see here: https://www.everettwa.gov/3209/Flock-Safety-System