Hi-tech cameras keep burglaries at all time low in Longboat Key

Quiet beachside town had 3 burglaries in 2016
Posted at 11:25 PM, Nov 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-14 23:25:49-05

There are some benefits to living on an island when it comes to safety and security. Longboat Key Police Chief Pete Cumming said only two roads in and out of the island play a key role in helping track criminals.

Three years ago Cumming said the town installed automatic license plate reader cameras around the island.  That allows the department of 20 sworn officers to stay on top of criminals driving in and out.

“If something comes back from Tallahassee from a local hot sheet we'll get that and be notified in moments that vehicle is on our island,” Cumming said. “Our officers are made aware that that vehicle is here and we go after it.”

Cumming said they don’t track vehicle information if the law enforcement tracking system they use doesn’t get a hit.

“If it’s not stolen or crime committed it doesn't do anything, we wouldn’t even know they are on the island,” Cumming said.  

Cumming said his community averages about 10 burglaries a year, but with the cameras running 24 hours a day that number gets lower and lower very year.  And the chief said detectives take advantage of the technology to solve crimes.

“Investigatively, if we are looking for a suspect vehicle we can search the database to see if it was here when the crime was committed as well,” Cumming said.

The national home security company, Protect America, crunched the data and compiled the list.