At its Oct. 12 meeting, the Magnolia Economic Development 4A Corp. approved a resolution to enter into a contract with Flock Group Inc. for the purchase and installation of license plate cameras for the Magnolia Police Department.

In a nutshell

The cameras are stationary license plate cameras that will be located at the main entry points of the city, Magnolia Police Chief Kyle Montgomery said at the Oct. 12 meeting. If a person comes through the city at the point where a camera is, it will pick up their license plate and store it in a database.

“If we know it’s a white F-150, and we see a picture of this guy that has ski mask on, typically, there’s really not going to be anything we can do with that case because you don’t have a lead to figure out who that person is,” Montgomery said. “Well, this is that lead.”

Montgomery said Conroe and Montgomery police departments are other entities that utilize the cameras.

“There’s a lot of cities that are going to these just because they’re such a good tool,” Montgomery said.

Zooming in

The purchase and installation of these cameras was previously a project of the 4B Corp., according to the resolution. The city’s ordinance 2021-04 allows the 4A Corp. to undertake 4B Corp. projects.

The cost associated with the cameras is $58,000, according to the 4A Corp.’s 2023-24 project list. The project list will go before Magnolia City Council at its next meeting for final adoption, Magnolia Economic Development Director Rachel Steele said.

Montgomery said the cost will cover everything associated with the cameras for two years.

“We’re essentially just leasing them,” Montgomery said. “So it’s one of those things where [Flock Group Inc. does] the installation, they do the maintenance.”

What else?

Montgomery said the cameras will not have tracking capabilities; all they will do is pick up when a vehicle comes through one of them.

“We’re not tracking you through the city,” Montgomery said. “We’re not doing anything like that.”

Montgomery also said the police department will receive alerts if a vehicle associated with being stolen, a warrant in the department’s system or an Amber Alert comes through one of the cameras.

Stay tuned

Magnolia City Council’s next meeting, at which final adoption of the 4A Corp.’s project list will be considered, is set to take place Nov. 14.

View the Oct. 12 agenda packet below.