Irondale police solving property crimes with new camera system


IRONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — How do you make a safe community even safer? That’s the question the Irondale Police Department is working to answer.

Because Irondale has only one to two homicides a year, officers mostly struggle with solving property crime cases.

Police have recently installed cameras throughout the city to address property crimes. The company, Flock Safety, installs and maintains the cameras and alerts law enforcement when a license plate matching the description in the system drives by.

Sgt. Michael Mangina said they’ve already seen several instances of the camera’s success.

“We know they work. A couple of nights ago, we were able to recover a stolen car, and we also recovered stolen property in that car,” Mangina said.

Each camera costs $2,000 per year. The homeowner’s association for the Montevallo Park neighborhood decided to purchase their own camera after a string of break-ins.

“The worst, I believe, someone had their glass backdoor kicked in.”

– Hannah Craft; HOA President for Montevallo Park

Craft said simply having the camera and sign at the neighborhood entrance has made a difference.

“Since we’ve had the camera, we’ve had no issues at all,” she said.

There are three cameras throughout Irondale, and it’s helped officers clean up the city. Mangina said it’s helped in a drug bust.

“One of them, we were able to make an arrest that included illegal narcotics,” he said.

Mangina is encouraging all neighborhoods, apartment complexes and hotels to invest in Flock Safety systems. Several cities in the Birmingham metropolitan area already have them installed throughout the city.

To learn more about the camera surveillance system, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.