Director of Communications
Harris County, TX – Continuing his pledge to reduce crime, Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey is providing license plate reading technology to law enforcement in Harris County, improving their efforts in identifying criminal activity. Costing $2,500 a year per camera to operate, the technology will send real-time alerts to law enforcement when a vehicle associated with crime is captured on camera.
“We’ve witnessed the success of this technology in Spring Valley, Baytown, and other jurisdictions, so we worked with our Constables to find the best locations in unincorporated areas of Precinct 3 to install them,” said Commissioner Tom Ramsey. “This helps law enforcement catch wanted vehicles quickly. It acts as another set of eyes for law enforcement so if you’re looking to break the law in Precinct 3 – move elsewhere, because this isn’t the place.”
These license plate readers will also assist in finding vehicles that the Texas Department of Public Safety has tagged for missing persons such as Amber and Silver alerts. The technology also reads paper tags, which will complement the State and local efforts in combating fictitious plates.
The technology is another effort to respond to the historical crime rates in Harris County. Last year, Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey launched a Crime Task Force to help combat the rise in crime. Composed of various law enforcement agencies, one of their recommendations included the need for license plate reading technology to help in crime reduction.
After working with the County’s Engineering Department on permitting and the Purchasing Department for technology and software procurement, Precinct 3 successfully mounted license plate readers throughout the area.
Commissioner Ramsey’s office is also looking to work with municipal utility districts, homeowners’ associations, and other groups to expand the reach of license plate reading technology, as well as identifying grant funding for law enforcement groups to help supplement their usage and cut down the cost to taxpayers. In addition, Commissioner Ramsey is working on State legislation to address the ongoing epidemic of crimes connected to fictitious plates.