Virtual Gate Security Camera System
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 15 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.
8/5/2020 Update: Virtual Gate Proof of Concept Begins
The City’s Security Camera system contract requires that a “Proof of Concept” be completed before Phase I can be initiated. The POC will ensure that the system works as designed and meets the requirements listed in the contract. The POC, once started, will run for at least thirty days. After this time if the system is acceptable and found to meet the requirements of the contract, Phase I will immediately start.
The POC started on July 27th and, so far, is working as expected with a capture rate (percentage of vehicle license plates read) of over 95%. If this success continues, Phase I will start immediately placing cameras at fifteen locations and should be completed by November, 2020. Once Phase I is completed and working as designed, Phase II will begin with the installation of cameras at twenty five additional locations.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Police Chief Ken Walker.