Fulshear police to install license plate readers across city

Fulshear Police Department is working to install 25 license plate readers across the city over the next four to six weeks. (José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)
Fulshear Police Department is working to install 25 license plate readers across the city over the next four to six weeks. (José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)

Fulshear Police Department is working to install 25 license plate readers across the city over the next four to six weeks. (José Dennis/Community Impact Newspaper)

As in the city of Katy, Fulshear will soon install license plate readers across the city and surrounding communities to add an additional layer of security.

At the May 19 regular council meeting, Fulshear Police Chief Kenny Seymour said his goal is to install 25 license plate readers to help his department solve burglaries and break-ins; only about 15%-20% of those cases are ever solved.

“[License plate readers] gives us about an 85% change of solving these cases because now, we have something that we can document on the streets [and] refer back to when the officers are not present or the citizen doesn’t capture it,” he said.

In May 21 phone interview, Seymour said the readers will be installed at nearly every major intersection over the next four to six weeks. FPD has had about five readers on a trial basis for six to seven months, he said at the meeting.

Fort Bend County, homeowners associations, such as Churchill Farms HOA, and cities, including Katy, Sugar Land and Jersey Village—which experienced a 35% reduction in crime after installing more than 40 readers—have already installed these readers. Together, these entities share data and create a network to help solve crimes, Seymour said at the meeting; he further stressed in the phone interview that this information sharing is critical among law enforcement.


“This is basically a force multiplier for us,” Seymour said at the meeting. “It puts more eyes on our streets, it makes us safer, and it does reduce crime.”

The license plate readers, which Fulshear will lease from an Atlanta-based technology company Flock Safety, will cost about $2,000 annual per reader, he said at the meeting.

To help share the cost, Seymour reached out to four Fulshear-area municipal utility districts, three of which agreed to lease 10 readers, he said. The city will lease the remaining 15, and the funding will come from the capital improvement program.

Fulshear City Council approved the agreements with the MUDs—Fort Bend MUD Nos. 170, 172 and 173—at the regular May 19 meeting. Seymour said in the interview he will not have to return to council for the remaining readers.

How the license plate readers work

Joshua Miller, who works in public relations at Flock Safety, previously told Community Impact Newspaper that the motion-activated license plate readers are not surveillance cameras on a constant loop.

Instead, Miller said, the devices will capture a series of photos to store vehicle information, such as the make, model, color, plate and any aesthetic damages, as the vehicle passes by the camera. They will also capture bicycles and pedestrians. Images will then be sent to the cloud for police to access as needed.

All data will be automatically and permanently deleted after 30 days, as the types of crimes intended to be solved with the license plate readers do not require footage going back more than one month, Miller said.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


MOST RECENT

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

The latest Fort Bend County coronavirus updates from the week of Nov. 13-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County hospital leaders warn of increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services reported 685 new cases of the coronavirus Nov. 13-19, a 135% increase in the number of new cases compared to the week prior.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Shake Shack opened its new standalone location at The Woodlands Mall in November. (Courtesy Christine Han)
Shake Shack opens in The Woodlands Mall and more Houston-area updates

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

Katy-area business owners adapt to COVID-19

“I want to thank the community for supporting us and shopping local,” Ebrecht said. “It’s been really amazing. We were surprised that we didn’t fall that far behind last year’s sales, even through all of this.”

Buffalo Bayou report draws some local criticism

Concepts that appeared to be early frontrunners included a new reservoir and dam structure in the Cypress Creek watershed and 22 miles of deepening and widening Buffalo Bayou, both of which would alleviate strain on the Addicks and Barker reservoirs during heavy rainfall events.

The Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy Sugar Land Skeeters)
Sugar Land Skeeters selected as Triple-A affiliate for Houston Astros

In joining the Houston Astros organization, the Sugar Land Skeeters will be the first-ever independent baseball league team to become an MLB team's Triple-A affiliate.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Car Scientist now open in Katy area

Car Scientist at 5959 FM 1463, Katy, is now open.