HOUSTON – The Sugar Land City Council has approved the installation of 80 license plate recognition cameras after the first of the year.
The cameras cost $1.3 million and will be placed on major roads that lead into and out of the city. Locations mostly include Highway 6, Highway 90-A, Dairy Ashford and W. Bellfort.
If the first phase goes smoothly, the city will put up another 125 cameras at some point in the future.
The cameras are designed to only capture a vehicle’s license plate and enough of the car or truck to tell what kind it is, authorities said.
“If a crime occurs we can go back and capture that information and hopefully catch a criminal,” said Sugar Land Assistant Police Chief, Erick Robins.
City officials said no one will sit at a command center monitoring the cameras. All images will go into a database and that will be erased every 10 days.
“It’s a passive system,” Assistant Chief Robins said. “We won’t share this information with any other entities.”
However, the American Civil Liberties Union has doubts.
“Just as the City of Houston didn’t like red-light cameras, I think the people of Sugar Land may want to consider what this means in terms of the ability to track everyday citizens’ every move in and around Sugar Land,” said ACLU Spokeswoman Dotty Griffith.