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Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Atlanta-based Flock Safety, which has a team of employees in Tampa and is hiring more, wants to reduce crime nationwide by 25% in three years.

State of play: That goal might seem extreme, but the upstart company says it typically sees a 25% drop in crime soon after partnering with a city, and it's operating in more than 1,200 nationwide.

  • "It's very rare we don't see a 20% or 30% reduction," CEO Garrett Langley told Axios.
  • The company just announced a $150 million Series D fundraise led by Andreessen Horowitz, one of the world's leading venture capital firms.
  • Worth noting: The company features positive police reviews on its website, but journalists have verified both successes and challenges.

What's happening here: It has partnerships with 50 neighborhoods and five police agencies in the Tampa Bay area, and roughly 250 neighborhoods and 30 police departments across Florida.

How it works: Flock Safety uses cellphone-camera technology to read license plates and capture traffic data. Then they give police the software to narrow and find suspect vehicles.

In other words: Its roadside cameras catalog vehicles — model, color, make and any distinguishing features, as well as the date and time they pass by.

  • If a crime is reported and the victim can describe the vehicle, police can narrow cars down in a few clicks alongside access to an owner's open warrants or criminal history.
  • The cameras also ping law enforcement when a stolen vehicle or a vehicle related to an Amber or Silver Alert crosses their path.

Yes, but: Doesn't that sound like Big Brother? Advances in surveillance tech have prompted debate about privacy, and whether trade-offs are justified in the name of public safety.

  • Langley tells us that the company's products are ethically built and the product actually reduces bias because of its focus on the vehicle, not gender or race.
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Go deeper

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pentagon approves request for 100 National Guard troops for "Justice for J6" rally

Security fencing has been reinstalled around the Capitol. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has approved a request from Capitol Police to provide 100 D.C. National Guard troops in case law enforcement requires additional support at Saturday's "Justice for J6" rally at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Security preparations have ramped up ahead of the pro-Trump demonstration, where hundreds of protesters sympathetic to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack are expected to gather.

DOJ sues American Airlines, JetBlue to block "unprecedented" alliance

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued American Airlines and JetBlue to block an "unprecedented series of agreements" that will consolidate the two airlines' operations in Boston and New York City.

Why it matters: The civil antitrust complaint alleges that the planned Northeast Alliance (NEA) "will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in harm to air passengers across the country through higher fares and reduced choice," the DOJ said in a release.

FBI: Body identified as Gabby Petito, death ruled a homicide

A memorial dedicated to Gabby Petito near City Hall in North Port, Fla. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A body found in Teton County, Wyoming, on Sunday was confirmed to be the remains of missing 22-year-old blogger Gabby Petito, the FBI announced Tuesday.

Driving the news: The death was ruled a homicide by the Teton County coroner's office, the FBI said. The cause of death has not been determined.