Baptist Pilots License Plate Reader Cameras to Prevent Car Thefts

Baptist Memorial Health Care has installed Flock Safety License Plate Reader (LPR) cameras at entrances and exits at several metro-Memphis entities as part of a pilot program to proactively prevent auto thefts on campus. Flock Safety LPR cameras collect still images of license plates as vehicles pass entrances and exits where cameras are installed, provide 24/7 monitoring and are in use in more than 2,000 U.S. cities.

“We want to prevent auto thefts and break-ins for team members, visitors and patients, and for any Baptist-owned vehicles,” said Michael Rallings, system director of security. “If we’re successful, we hope the cameras can be installed at other Baptist locations if they can obtain a grant from Baptist Foundation or allocate funding.”

Baptist has installed the cameras at Baptist Memphis, Baptist Women’s Hospital, the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital, Baptist Collierville, Baptist DeSoto, Baptist Health Sciences University and the Corporate building. A Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation Officer’s Grant paid for the cameras.

LPR cameras are successful in preventing crimes because they can instantly notify law enforcement when a stolen vehicle enters a property. That is exactly what happened recently at Baptist DeSoto.

The Southaven Police Department received an alert from the Flock Safety System after a vehicle reported stolen in Memphis entered Baptist DeSoto’s campus on May 4. The driver and occupant were taken into custody without incident.

In a similar incident on May 24 at Baptist Women’s Hospital, Security Manager Orlandis Blakley notified Rallings that the Memphis Police Department received a Flock Safety notification about a stolen vehicle captured on an inbound camera.

Security found the car unoccupied in the parking lot. Police worked with hospital security team members to find the male suspect on video and track him down inside the hospital. Police arrested the man without incident, and he was charged with property theft and vandalism. The suspect was already facing separate charges for other serious crimes, which can be the case with car thefts. Stolen vehicles are often associated with other crimes.

The Flock Safety System also immediately notifies the Baptist security team when individuals who are placed on a hotlist enter a specific property. Those on the hotlist may include terminated employees, disgruntled patients and previous or suspected offenders.

“Our hotlist is internal to Baptist and wouldn’t necessarily be shared with law enforcement because it’s specific to us,” commented Rallings.

Rallings is pleased with the Flock Safety System results so far and thinks this it will be a valuable tool for advancing safety at Baptist.