Police Chief Requests License Plate Reader Cameras

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department (SBPD) wants to put a license plate reader (LPR) camera system in place in the city to help fight crime.

The city’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee recommended Jan. 30 that the Common Council approve a contract with Flock Safety, which would install and maintain the cameras.

Police Chief Clint Henry said the LPR camera system, which records computer-readable images of vehicle license plates, is being used in the Green Bay area, where it helped identify vehicles that were reported stolen last year in Sturgeon Bay.

“Officers can use this information to acquire suspect vehicle information from a scene of a crime, compare plate numbers against those of stolen cars, or wanted individuals on a crime database like the National Crime Information Center, and they can determine where known offenders have traveled to,” he said.

Henry said the LPR camera system, which takes photos of vehicle license plates similar to cameras used on tollways, provides alerts when vehicles reported stolen or associated with a known suspect are detected, as well as vehicles identified in a Silver Alert.

He said Flock Safety’s two-year contract with the city would include the operating system and installing 10 cameras at fixed locations in Sturgeon Bay for $31,500 in the first year, and a recurring annual charge of $30,000 in the second year for a total cost of $61,500.

The city budgeted $34,500 in 2024 for the LPR camera system.

Henry said the cameras, for which he declined to identify specifically where they would be installed because of investigative reasons, would be leased and not owned by the city, with Flock Safety maintaining them for year-round use as part of the contract.

He said he hopes the LPR camera system will be installed early this year for use by the SBPD upon approval by the Common Council.

Henry said it would be up to the city as to whether to continue using the system after two years, or have the company remove the cameras.

Resurfacing Planned for City Police and Fire Boat

The committee also recommended spending $39,234.82 to resurface the 27-foot boat used by the city’s police and fire departments.

The 2010 vessel built by SAFE Boats has nylon-covered collars that surround it and non-skid pads on the deck, and those collars and non-skid pads have deteriorated over the years from constant exposure to water and sunlight, causing the collars to leak and the pads to break apart, said Henry.

He said the repairs should make the vessel look like new to keep in operation for another 14 years.

Henry said the vessel will continue to be docked on the west side during the boating season and available for patrols by the police department and water rescues in Sturgeon Bay’s fire district.

According to the SAFE Boats price quote, the company would send two technicians from the State of Washington to Sturgeon Bay to replace the collars and non-skid pads. Labor would account for $21,441 of the total project cost.