Frequently Asked Questions
- How long has the ALPR system been around?
This technology has been used by cities since its inception in the late 1990s, including communities in the State of Texas. Each day, the state provides a download listing of stolen vehicles, stolen license plates and other vehicles wanted by law enforcement to departments who utilize ALPR technology. This allows for participating police departments to receive instant notifications of wanted vehicles.
- Are these "red light cameras" or used for "speeding" issues?
No. These cameras will NOT be used for red light or speeding issues.
- How will the cameras be used?
The system will be used as a reactive investigative tool where data is stored and can later be searched for criminal leads after a crime occurs.
- Will the cameras be monitored?
There will not be live monitoring. The system will be used as a reactive investigative tool, storing data that can later be searched for criminal leads after a crime occurs.
- What specifically will the License Plate Recognition Cameras record?
The ALPR cameras will be located on designated public streets throughout the Cities and aimed directly at the lane of traffic. The intent is to capture vehicle license plates. The ALPR cameras will not record private areas such as houses, backyards, or other private property. The cameras typically do not record facial images or the interior of vehicles.
- Will the cameras monitor all streets within subdivisions?
The Project will only focus on designated streets and intersections at entrances and exits throughout the MVPD Jurisdictional Area. Partnerships will need to be developed in the future with homeowner associations, local businesses, and individuals that have their own camera system.
- How long will the ALPR camera data be saved?
The Police Department is recommending saving the camera data for 30 days and saving the closed-circuit television/video surveillance for 24 hours.
- Will the footage be publicly available?
No. The Police Department and the Cities will follow applicable laws, including the Texas Public Information Act.
- Will the ALPR camera data (images) be shared with other agencies or the federal government?
The camera data may be shared with other agencies if it is needed for a specific criminal investigation or a part of an inter-local agreement. Authorization from the MVPD Chief of Police will be required before camera data is shared with another agency.
- Are other cities using cameras in this way?
Many cities across the country use cameras for similar purposes.
- How will the Cities prevent misuse of the camera system?
The Police Department will have policies and procedures in place that will govern the use, length of time camera data will be saved, and identify who will have access to camera data. These policies will be developed with the input from citizens and direction from the Mayors and City Councils. Both the MVPD Commission and Tri-Cities Public Safety Committee as well as our Mayors and City Councils are made up of residents living within the MVPD Jurisdictional Cities.