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License Plate Reader Project designed to target Human Trafficking, Narcotics Traffic and Exploitation of Children

Award Information

Award #
15PBJA-21-GG-03917-RURA
Location
Awardee County
TX
Congressional District
Status
Open
Funding First Awarded
2021
Total funding (to date)
$149,465

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $149,465)

The Comanche Police Department gained accreditation in May of 2019 from the Texas Chiefs of Police Association and is in compliance with Executive Order 13929,  The City has a population of approximately 4,200 residents and the reported poverty rate between 2013 through 2017 is 20.9%. 

 There have been three specific violent crime issues identified in the City of Comanche.  The first issue to be addressed is the distribution, sale, and use of methamphetamine.  U.S. Highway 67, Texas State Highways 36, and Texas State Highway16 come through the City of Comanche and are known to be main pipelines by the cartels and local distributors of methamphetamine.

The second violent crime issue identified is the illegal trafficking of persons by members of the cartel.  In December 2019, the Comanche Police Department responded to the murder of two individuals.   This Capital Murder was directly linked to cartel members who participate in human trafficking and the sale of illegal firearms. 

The third issue is the possession of child pornography and the exploitation of children.  In the last two years, the Comanche Police Department has investigated numerous possession of child pornography and exploitation of children cases.

The Comanche Police Department’s plan to counter the above-listed violent crimes begins with the installation of license plate readers at the intersection of U.S. Highway 67/377 and Texas State Highway 16.  The plan also includes outfitting two patrol vehicles with a 3-camera license plate reader. The data obtained by these readers both fixed and on mobile units are downloaded into a database.  The Comanche Police Department will be able to share this data with two hundred and five agencies within the State of Texas and sixteen hundred agencies nationwide.    

This grant will allow the police department to start with a zero-baseline number at the time of implementation of the license plate readers and monitor the number of license plate reads that are obtained, that lead to investigatory stops and ultimately arrest.

The license plate readers database also comes with facial recognition software that will directly enhance the investigation of all three violent crime issues listed above.  The facial recognition database draws its photographs from public databases such as mug shots and sex offender registries. Individuals who commit these types of violent crimes commonly post photographs of themselves from social media and interacting with the victim.

Date Created: December 2, 2021