District smashes license plate security cameras on public land

District smashes license plate security cameras on public land

Thursday, January 12, 2023 Written by: Seth Smalley

At Tuesday’s Travis County Commissioners’ Courtroom assembly, a small debate flared up over the set up of Flock, a license plate monitoring system on public lands within the county, particularly Rob Roy, a personal enclave in Austin.

Members of the Rob Roy on the Creek householders affiliation have requested the set up of six computerized license plate studying cameras on Furlong Drive, Newhall Lane and Beardsley Lane. Commissioner Ann Howard, representing the neighborhood, moved to get her voters’ request permitted, however it did not take a second.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Workplace already has an settlement with Flock, which robotically alerts the sheriff’s workplace when a “hotlist” plate passes. In keeping with Flock, hot-list plates are outlined as plates stolen from legal or stolen autos.

County Choose Andy Brown and commissioners Brigid Shea and Jeffrey Travillion have expressed opinions starting from hesitation to outright disapproval of the thought.

“I sympathize with folks’s considerations about crime, particularly crimes in opposition to their properties or property. I’d additionally prefer to acknowledge Commissioner Howard as a result of he’s very lively in his space and really passionate about representing the considerations of the neighborhood,” Shea mentioned.

Shea added that she has considerations about setting a precedent. “To make these personal surveillance units publicly accessible, we’d create one thing that I believe may have loads of demand.”

Brown requested a consultant from the Sheriff’s Workplace if there was a rise in crime within the space. The workplace replied no, saying the crime was “very low”.

“I assist my voters on this demand to train this proper of method,” Howard mentioned. “We use them in communities east and west of I-35. It is neighborhood residents who ask. They do not have entry to expertise. It isn’t a privateness concern. It is a problem the place regulation enforcement can use the instrument to resolve crimes which have already been dedicated. It isn’t the sheriff’s division selecting the place to place cameras. Further assist.” We’re those who assist the neighborhoods that need it.”

“For me, it is a matter of privateness threat and legal responsibility, and racing within the South and racing within the metropolis hasn’t been dealt with very nicely,” Travillion mentioned. “And a lot of the instances it is folks of colour who’re negatively impacted by it. The unexpected sinister penalties can occur and we will not shield every little thing. I am in opposition to and voting in opposition to this clause.”

A Rob Roy resident confirmed off a brief PowerPoint presentation displaying an instance {of electrical} home equipment stolen from a truck in entrance of a home. Whereas there have been safety cameras in the home, the license plates of the thief’s automobile couldn’t be seen as a result of angle.

No motion was taken on the matter on Tuesday.

Editor’s Be aware: Andy Brown is a board member of the father or mother nonprofit, the Capital of Texas Media Basis. Austin Monitor.

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