Tech aids police in locating missing 83-year-old Lanett woman

Published 11:12 am Friday, August 11, 2023

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According to a press release from the Lanett Police Department, on Thursday at 9:20 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in Lanett in reference to an 83-year-old female leaving her home for a doctor’s appointment at 9:00 a.m. and never returning.

Family members told law enforcement they became concerned when they could not contact her — at that time. Patrol officers notified the investigation division to make them aware of the situation. Investigator Asim Hicks arrived on the scene and entered vital information into the Flock Safety License plate reader database and NCIC.

The tag reader captured the tag in Auburn on S. College Street earlier in the day.

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At approximately 11:32 pm, a Lee County Deputy spotted the vehicle in Opelika. Deputies made contact with the missing person, and the family was notified. Family members transported her back to her residence in Lanett.

According to Lanett PD Officer Sgt. Kody Kent, Flock Safety, the tag reader system, tracks license plates with cameras across the state and the country. Any time a car drives past, the camera takes a picture of the tag with the time and location. 

Law enforcement agencies with contracts often use the software to alert them when a person goes missing, or a car is stolen. 

Lanett Police Department doesn’t have a contract with the system. Kent said when certain situations arise, the department may contact neighboring agencies with a contract with the Flock Safety system. 

Both Lee County and Chambers County have contracts with Flock Safety. Hicks contacted Lee County to track down the woman’s license plate in this case.