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. In 2018, the West University Place City Council approved funding for a state-of-the-art security camera system that would create a “Virtual Gate” around the city.
The concept of the camera system includes both live feed and license plate recognition (LPR) technology that captures images of license plates creating a searchable database to aid in police investigations. The design of the camera system alerts the West U dispatch center and patrol officers when vehicles that are stolen, vehicles associated with Statewide DPS alerts, or used in violent crimes enter the city. In addition, the system infrastructure supports future technological advances that may include facial recognition, motion detection and connecting with private cameras. Forty sites around the city were selected to host both types of cameras creating a “Virtual Gate” covering all entry points to the city.
In 2019, work was underway to install the estimated $4.5 million Virtual Gate Security Camera System. Installation of the system took place in two phases. Phase I included the installation of both live feed and license plate readers at fifteen major intersections, while Phase II included the remaining twenty-five intersections.
By May of 2022, the Virtual Gate Camera System came to fruition as all forty camera locations were fully operational and providing an impressive 97.2% accuracy rate. In total, the Virtual Gate Camera System has shown to be an effective program for law enforcement, a wonderful benefit to the community’s safety, and a great advantage in the fight against crime!