City of Freeport adds video surveillance cameras

By Mark Boyle - Reporter

FREEPORT - Thanks to a $600,000 federal great, three of the main entrances to the City of Freeport are under video surveillance.

Officials said every car that comes and goes will be recorded at Freeport police headquarters where dispatchers will have the ability to view at anytime.

In addition to cameras recording cars driving into the city, there are special cameras set up to view the license plate and then run the plate against local and national databases.

"Say a vehicle has been listed as stolen, it'll get a hit from that, it'll send an alert to dispatch and dispatch will get that notification," said Freeport Police Chief Daniel Pennington.

The images will be stored at police headquarters for up to 90 days before being deleted.

So far, there are four areas with cameras: Highway 288, FM 1495, Highway 36 and one neighborhood.

The neighborhood near Skinner and Avenue J is known to have criminal activity, according to residents.

"They can watch now but I don't think it's going to stop anything, but it's good that they can watch it," said resident Dominique Brown.

The police chief said the city worked with the federal government to get the $600,000 grant to help pay for the cameras.

City leaders said because the city has an international port, it could be a target for terrorism or other criminal activity.

"We think that as we make ourselves not such a soft target, everybody benefits," said Freeport City Manager Jeff Payne.

The cameras in place now are expected to be online by the end of July. More cameras could be installed over the next few months.

Copyright 2013 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.