More than 100 license plate reader cameras to be installed in southwest Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Within the next few weeks, more than 100 license plate reader cameras are set to be up and running in Houston's Council District J, according to Councilmember Edward Pollard, who represents the district.

The cameras are part of an effort to combat the uptick in crime, according to Pollard.

In February, as city officials laid out the "One Safe Houston" crime reduction plan, HPD Chief Troy Finner said they were focused on implementing more technology like license plate readers and traffic cameras around the city in an effort to track down wanted criminals.

SEE ALSO: Houston leaders hope $44 million program will solve alarming rise in crime

HPD said these cameras are going to be placed strategically where there is high crime on streets and intersections around District J.

Pollard said he is allocating more than $100,000 from his council district service fund to HPD, so they can buy the cameras. Several management districts, which are made up of area property owners, are also contributing money in order to fund the camera system.

The cameras will take pictures that will show the make, model, color and license plate on all of the vehicles that pass by. If the vehicle has been reported to be involved in a crime, HPD will immediately get an alert and be able to track the vehicle. The cameras will not be able to record video or live stream.

SEE ALSO: Fake paper plates causing real problems on the road and costing Texas millions

"We really want people to understand that we are cracking down on crime in District J. We want all of the criminals to be on notice that all eyes will be on you when you ride through District J," said Pollard.
HPD Assistant Chief Yasar Bashir said he believes these cameras will be a great tool in fighting crime in the area and said he has seen how helpful it can be.

"I specifically remember one gang shooting that within the same day we were able to identify those individuals and have warrants and them arrested in a matter of days. That's how quickly these types of cameras can help us fight this violent crime," said Bashir.

So far in 2022, two deputies have been killed in District J.



Harris County Precinct 5 Deputy Constable Charles Galloway was killed in January in the 9100 block of Beechnut and last month, San Jacinto Precinct 1 Deputy Constable Neil Adams was killed at PlazAmericas Mall in Sharpstown.

ABC13 asked Pollard if the deaths of these law enforcement officers had anything to do with adding these cameras. Pollard said it was something they were planning to do before those tragedies happened. However, they motivated him to expedite the process in getting the cameras up and running.

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