Flock Safety Reviews, Cost, & Alternatives


Did you know that about 83% of property crimes remain unsolved, according to the FBI’s 2019 Crime in the United States report? Unfortunately, lack of evidence is the most common issue that law enforcement agencies encounter when solving property crime.

Atlanta-based Flock Safety aims to change all this through the use of automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) and cloud-based public safety software. And because most people commit crimes with a getaway vehicle, AI-powered ALPR devices that help recognize and tag these vehicles 24/7 can undoubtedly help solve crimes and even deter them. 

Flock Safety, however, is just one of the many crime-fighting security solutions that use ALPR technology. So, let’s take a closer look at how it works, how much it costs, the potential benefits, and possible alternatives.

What is Flock Safety?

Flock Safety is an Atlanta startup offering AI-powered automatic license plate reader technology through discreet cameras installed around a community. They aim to eliminate nonviolent crime like home invasions, mail theft, vandalism, burglary, trespassing by recognizing, tracking, and alerting suspicious vehicles. While founder Garrett Langley initially imagined Flock Safety as a solution for residential property crime when he first started it in 2017, the company has since expanded to serve business owners, law enforcement agencies, towns, and cities. 

How does Flock Safety work?

Flock installs solar-powered and LTE-enabled license plate recognition camera systems at all access points of your community. This system takes footage of all vehicles that pass through different areas of the neighborhood, which it sends to Flock’s cloud-based machine learning servers that organize it based on visual, audio, and contextual evidence using its patented Vehicle Fingerprint technology. That way, when a crime happens, residents can automatically search through the system and find the footage that they need to report a crime. 

The Flock Safety system consists of:

  • Security cameras, sensors, and devices equipped with ALPR technology that captures vehicular footage, audio, and situational evidence
  • Cloud-based machine learning technology that organizes the vehicles based on identifiable characteristics such as make, model, color, license plate, and other unique features
  • Cloud hosting with AES256 encryption using Amazon Web Services

How does Flock Safety recommend handling crime?

  1. Call the police to report the crime.
  2. Contact Flock Safety.

Flock makes 30 days of footage easily accessible online. If the community or the local police have trouble searching through the data, they can tap Flock’s customer success team to help.

How does Flock Safety work with local law enforcement agencies?

Like many other LPR system providers, Flock Safety integrates with the FBI NCIC “hot car” list of known criminals. Doing so allows the community to immediately alert local police when a known stolen vehicle enters or leaves the area. According to the company, plate detections enable police to be one step ahead of criminal activity to help protect both residents and property. However, it is entirely up to the customer if they would like to collaborate with local law enforcement and give them access to their footage automatically. Law enforcement agencies that use Flock Safety can also connect with nearby agencies and communities to collaborate and increase search capacity.

Flock Safety pricing for residential communities

Flock Safety considers themselves safety-as-a-service, so they charge their clients an annual subscription fee of $2,500 per camera and an installation cost of $300 per camera. 

This subscription fee includes the following:

  • Ongoing maintenance
  • Software updates
  • Unlimited user access
  • Footage hosting
  • Access to customer success team

According to the company, the rules of thumb are at least one camera for each access point and at least one camera for every 50 homes. For a 150-home gated community with two entrances, this can easily mean a yearly subscription of $10,000. The more cameras a community installs, the easier it is to find evidence and get the complete picture of the situation.

Potential benefits of Flock Safety 

There are many possible benefits to incorporating Flock Safety into your community. Some of the key advantages include:

1. Being able to report and solve a crime

By using machine learning and ALPR, Flock Safety can help law enforcement personnel gather evidence and catch suspected criminals within a matter of hours. This data includes the time and location of the crime and the vehicle owner, which is crucial in solving crime and supporting charges.

2. Helping to protect lives through the identification of risky vehicles

The ability to identify potentially dangerous people allows law enforcement to take immediate action to protect the community. Because the system is connected to the FBI NCIC database, local law enforcement can receive intelligence on criminal activity occurring or about to occur.

3. Can act as a virtual fence

The presence of security cameras and license plate readers often act as a deterrent to potential criminals and give peace of mind to residents. While some communities may not have a physical fence, these AI-powered smart cameras can help communities feel like they have a virtual one protecting them.

Potential Concerns with Flock Safety

While there are many potential benefits to Flock Safety, there are some cons to it as well. Here are some of them:

1. No third-party integrations

Flock Safety is a closed system that does not integrate with third-party systems that offer access control or visitor management solutions. If you are looking for a single sign-on system that will help you manage your gated community, Flock Safety only tackles one aspect of your problem.

2. Possible cellular network issues

Because Flock Safety uses LTE to run their cameras, communities may run into network issues when uploading the footage to the cloud. While the footage is safely stored in the device, it might take some time to process it if there are issues with network connection. Interested neighborhoods and HOAs should check if their area has any problems with coverage.

Alternatives to Flock Safety

Flock Safety provides a range of solutions to communities and local law enforcement agencies seeking to enhance their street surveillance. However, if you desire a more comprehensive, forward-thinking solution that goes beyond AI-powered license plate recognition, you may discover that Flock Safety has some alternatives to consider that can meet your requirements.

Proptia is a cloud-based single-sign-on software designed to streamline community operations, offering a stand-alone License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology that can be integrated with your gates and utilized for reporting on the make, model, color, and vehicle type entering and exiting your property. Moreover, it captures high-resolution photos of both the license plate and the entire vehicle.

flock safety alternatives

With Proptia, capturing information on both entries and exits enables you to generate powerful reports on individuals who have entered the community but have not left, those who have entered and how long they stayed, or if a white van remains within the community, among other useful insights.

In addition to standalone LPR technology, Proptia integrates with visitor management, credentialed access, telephone entry, visitor ePass scanning, and other features.

Finally, Proptia’s LPR technology can serve as a credential, meaning that a license plate can be registered in the system, and the LPR camera will allow or deny entry by controlling gates and barrier arms.

If you are seeking a seamless security solution that employs more than just ALPR technology to help with community management, Proptia may be the ideal alternative solution to Flock Safety that meets your needs.


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