State’s Attorney James Glasgow presented a $5,000 check to Shorewood Police Chief Phillip Arnold at the October 25 Village Board Meeting which pays for the two-year fee for an additional Flock Safety camera. The contribution is part of Glasgow’s countywide public-private partnership initiative to encourage communities throughout Will County to deploy Flock cameras. Retired Troy Fire Protection District Chief Robert Schwartz matched Glasgow’s donation with a personal donation of $5,000. These new cameras are in addition to a previous Flock camera for which Glasgow donated a two-year fee to Shorewood to enhance safety in the community.
Flock cameras assist law enforcement in proactively preventing crime by sending real-time alerts to law enforcement when a stolen car or known wanted suspect from a national crime database enters the jurisdiction. When any type of disturbance or crime is reported, a review of the camera date can yield the license plate or plates–not people or faces–of those responsible.
“As crime continues to run rampant in neighboring Cook County and Chicago, we must do everything in our power to prevent these dangerous individuals from coming to Will County to continue committing violent and dangerous criminal acts,” Glasgow said. “These video cameras are a tremendous tool in protecting our communities, and I will continue to work with local communities and businesses who want to join in this countywide public safety initiative.”
The Flock cameras allow police to search by vehicle make, color, type and license plate; identify the state of the license plate; capture temporary plates, vehicles with a missing, covered or paper plate, unique vehicle details like roof racks, and bumper stickers; and even vehicles without plates.
“Through the Flock system, we currently have access to over 500 cameras along the I-80 / I-55 corridor from LaSalle to South Bend, Indiana,” Arnold said. “The information being shared, especially with the south suburbs and Southside of Chicago has been integral in producing leads and arrests, not only here but transitioning across county and state lines. These cameras are a vital tool in catching criminals entering our community and engaging in conduct that threatens our residents.”
Glasgow has encouraged businesses and individuals to participate in this countywide safety initiative. “When I heard State’s Attorney Glasgow speak about his Flock Safety camera initiative and issues facing law enforcement in the wake of new legislation, it inspired me to contribute toward this effort that is making a tangible difference in strengthening the safety of our communities,” Schwartz said. “I encourage other individuals and businesses to contribute to this effort that helps protect all of us.”
Since Shorewood’s first Flock cameras were installed earlier in 2022, they have been used to help solve multiple incidents including an aggravated robbery of an elderly woman at a local grocery store, multiple retail thefts along Route 59 and Black Road, and hit and run incidents. Recently, the cameras helped solve a case involving a burglary ring out of Florida in which the vehicle was recovered in Crest Hill. Local police have been coordinating with Indiana and Florida law enforcement agencies on those cases with the assistance of the information provided by the cameras. The Shorewood cameras have also been used by the Joliet Police Department in multiple investigations involving violent crimes as well as property crimes.
In addition to the Shorewood cameras, State’s Attorney Glasgow has donated the costs of Flock cameras for Lewis University, Beecher, Elwood, Homer Glen, Manhattan, Mokena, and Wilmington for a total of 14 cameras throughout Will County. Glasgow provides this funding entirely with money forfeited from criminals, without any taxpayer dollars used. To date, these contributions toward Flock Safety cameras in Will County total $42,500 with the donations of additional safety cameras in the works.