Security cameras have long been an effective crime-fighting tool for homes, public spaces, and businesses alike. They serve as both a deterrent and a legal tool in solving crime. Expanding on this concept, the West University Place City Council has approved funding for security cameras at all entrances into the city.
The cameras will include license plate recognition (LPR) technology, which is the same technology currently being used on a few of the police patrol cars. The cameras are a passive, non-monitored system, and the images captured by the system create a searchable database of license plate numbers that can be used by the Police Department to help narrow possible leads for crimes in the area, as well as help notify patrol officers of stolen vehicles, amber alerts, and more.
The project will be completed in two phases with an estimated cost of $4.5 million. Phase I will install cameras at 14 major intersections. Phase II will install cameras at the remaining 25 intersections with installation expected in 2020.
The system infrastructure is being designed to access local, state, and federal databases, plus support additional and future technological advances that may include facial recognition, motion detection and connecting with private cameras.
The contract for Phase I has been approved and city staff is working with the engineers to locate the optimum locations for relay sites to connect the cameras to the Police Department.