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 the spring of 2021.
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.
2/10/2021 Update: Virtual Gate Implantation Continues
Great strides have been made in the progression of the highly anticipated virtual gate camera system. Although still in Phase I of the process, the city is pleased to announce seven key locations have been equipped with multiple cameras. In total, twenty-five license plate readers (LPR) and twelve Tilt Pan Zoom (TPZ) live feed cameras have been dispersed throughout the City. By the second quarter of 2021, a total of fifteen locations will be equipped with seventy-six (LPR) and twenty-eight (TPZ) finalizing Phase I of the virtual gate system project.
Presently, each installed camera has passed the trial phase and is currently active. With the combination of both the (LPR) and (TPZ) cameras, the virtual gate camera system will provide various features. Some of these features consists of: providing a live feed to the police department for monitoring; it can detect and alert the police department of stolen vehicles or vehicles associated with Amber or Silver alerts; and vehicles that are registered with a record of violent crimes such registered sex offenders.
With Phase I nearing completion, the city is currently working with vendors to develop a Phase II proposal to be presented to Council for consideration. Phase II will place additional LPR and TPZ cameras at entrances to the City that were not covered in Phase I. When Phase II is completed, all entrances to the City will be monitored by cameras. Overall, the virtual gate camera system will encompass forty locations around the city and will provide a great advantage in the fight against crime!
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Police Chief Ken Walker.