Memorial Villages Police Department - Houston Texas
Serving the cities of Bunker Hill, Piney Point, and Hunters Creek in Houston, Texas

  Introduction to Virtual Gate
The cities of Bunker Hill, Hunters Creek and Piney Point Villages formed the Tri-Cities Public Safety Committee, which is made up of representatives from each city. The City Administrators and the Memorial Villages Police Department, represented by the Memorial Villages Police Chief, support the committee. Collectively, this Committee serves as the three cities' evaluation team to oversee efforts and make recommendations to the respective city councils regards the use of technology for crime analysis and prevention.

The Tri-Cities Committee is overseeing the Smart Cities Virtual Gate study to evaluate the opportunity to utilize a network of camera systems along public roadways for use as a crime prevention tool. This includes camera systems that incorporate license plate reading technology and close circuit tv cameras for video. The concept is to provide these systems at all entrances into and exits from the jurisdiction of the Memorial Villages Police Department creating this "Virtual Gate". This would allow the police department to know all vehicles that entered or exited the cities.

This study was funded and the costs are being shared by the three cities in response to the continued interest by their residents, neighborhood associations and businesses to install camera systems.

Recommended core functions of the study included:

  • Automatically detect and document over 90% of vehicles entering the city limits
  • Automatically detect and document over 90% of vehicles leaving the city limits
  • Automatically trigger notifications when stolen vehicles, Amber Alert vehicles, or other such vehicles are detected
  • Automatically send data to the Memorial Villages Police Department in secure and reliable manner such that detection, processing, and response triggers occur almost instantaneously

Special emphasis was also placed on certain design elements. Design elements considered specifically for the Memorial Villages are:

  • Aesthetic installation options
  • Reduced intersection costs through partnering with surrounding neighborhoods
  • High quality infrastructure
  • Smart cities sensors such as controllable surveillance cameras, motion detectors, intrusion detection, digital signage, and data analytics
UPDATE: May 2018. The Tri-Cities Public Safety Committee continues to work on the Virtual Gate - Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) Project. The committee has been conducting extensive pre-engineering work and examining new emerging hardware, software and technologies. Additional information about the project is forthcoming.