Bellaire police will soon begin testing license plate readers

Bellaire will soon start a pilot program for automated license plate readers. (Photo courtesy Flock Safety)
Bellaire will soon start a pilot program for automated license plate readers. (Photo courtesy Flock Safety)

Bellaire will soon start a pilot program for automated license plate readers. (Photo courtesy Flock Safety)

Bellaire will soon be able to install automated license plate readers in a pilot program designed to help police track and apprehend suspects.

The city’s attorney is in the process of reviewing a contract with Atlanta, Georgia-based Flock Safety, a startup specializing in 24-hour wireless cameras designed to capture license plates.

Once the contract is approved, Bellaire will install 10 cameras on major entrances and exits into and out of the city, which is expected one to two months after the contract is approved, according to Lt. Russell Brown.

Bellaire City Council voted Aug. 17 to allow the department to apply for and receive $27,500 in grant funding from nonprofit Bellaire Police and Fire Foundation that will be used to pay for the initial installation and one-year lease agreement, according to city council agenda documents.

The self-contained pole-mounted cameras will utilize an internal wireless connection paired with Flock Safety’s cloud network from which Bellaire will have access as part of the lease agreement.


Visibility from the cameras will reach two lanes, and allow Bellaire police to identify the makes and models of vehicles, Brown said.

“If, for example, we have a burglary happen, and we have some sort of suspect description of a vehicle, then we can both put what is considered a ‘hot list’ in these cameras of a suspect description or a partial license plate, and get alerted if that vehicle passes one of our cameras,” Brown said. “That can alert one of our officers in real time to officers in the area to catch the ‘bad guy,’ so to speak, as he travels through Bellaire.”

Access to vehicle and plate data will come through Flock Safety’s secure cloud network, and in order to protect privacy, data will be deleted after 30 days, according to agenda documents.

Once the cameras are installed, training for Bellaire police will cover dispatch and communications, as well as investigations.

“This is a pilot program,” Brown said. “If it is successful, then we’re hoping that we can add some additional cameras in future years to try to cover larger areas and more points of entrance and exits to try and protect the residents to a greater area.”
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


MOST RECENT

Judge Roberto Delagarza
Houston creates new system for low-income residents to address late court fees

The system was among the recommendations made by the mayor's police reform task force in their report.

(Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
Shogun Japanese Grill and Sushi Bar opens in Spring and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court rules Harris County drive-thru, curbside voting can continue

More than 98,000 ballots cast at drive-thru polling sites across Harris County will be counted in the Nov. 3 election.

An election official directs a car to a spot at the Humble Civic Center's drive-thru voting location. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Drive-thru voting in Harris County becomes popular and more top Houston-area news

Read top stories from the past week from the Houston area.

Up to 40,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas members could be impacted if a contract agreement cannot be reached. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CHI St. Luke's Hospital faces potential contract termination with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas at multiple Houston, Southeast Texas locations

If an agreement cannot be reached, up to 40,000 Houstonians could find their local hospital is out of network for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.

houston skyline from afar
State of the city: Mayor Sylvester Turner warns Houston’s recovery could be slow, inequitable

The mayor touted the city's resilience but said that recovery from the coronavirus recession is starting to leave vulnerable communities behind.

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot. (Courtesy Pexels)
Tackling Texas' vote-by-mail system: Applying, delivering, tracking your ballot

Oct. 23 is the last day Texas voters can apply for a vote-by-mail ballot.

Houston ISD
Houston ISD teachers take sick day to protest COVID-19 protocols

The group Educators for a Safe Reopening has made seven demands.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots at Juergen's Hall Community Center in Cy-Fair. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County’s early-voting turnout up 23% over same time frame in 2016 general election

The five busiest polling locations in Harris County have averaged more than 1,700 in-person voters daily thus far during early voting.

Houston City Council passed a tax rate Oct. 21 of $0.56184 per $100 valuation for fiscal year 2020-21, a 1.07% reduction from the previous year’s tax rate of $0.56792 per $100 valuation. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Houston approves lower tax rate for fiscal year 2020-21 amid calls for further reductions

The rate may still result in an increase for some taxpayers with the average homestead property value rising about 4%.

The 2020 Bellaire Arts & Crafts Festival has been canceled. (Courtesy Pexels)
2020 Bellaire Arts & Crafts Festival canceled; spring iteration still a possibility

The culture and arts board brought back the festival from a 10-year hiatus in 2019.

Target has built out its new store at 2075 Westheimer Road, Houston. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Target to open fourth Inner Loop location and more Houston-area business, community news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.