Houston City Council approved over $900,000 worth of grant-funded contracts to enhance the City’s public safety video network, giving a green light the acquisition of additional equipment to expand public safety video camera coverage across Houston. The City’s existing network currently covers high-density and high-threat areas throughout the city including downtown, the Texas Medical Center, local sports and event venues and integrates with traffic cameras through the City’s partnership in Houston Transtar.
“Having the additional cameras across Houston will not only help us keep special events like the Super Bowl safe, it also provides the Houston Police Department with more eyes across the city every day,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, “We also know that utilizing this technology to help detect and prevent threats remotely, helps us shift our resources towards community policing, investigations, and protecting neighborhoods from crime.”
The approved funding will specifically go towards the acquisition and installation of new cameras in and around Super Bowl-related event venues, as well as ongoing maintenance and support for the existing system.
“The threat environment we face in Houston is ever-evolving. These systems help us not only monitor critical infrastructure and busy areas, they also play a pivotal role in helping our response agencies have a better picture of emergency situations across the city,” said Dennis Storemski, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety & Homeland Security, whose office manages the video network and federal Homeland Security grants.
The contracts are funded by the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), a federal terrorism prevention, preparedness and response grant provided to the Houston area by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition to equipment and supplies, the UASI grant also augments existing staff in the areas of planning, preparedness, response and recovery from all types of hazards, as well as bring training and exercise opportunities to local agencies in Houston and the five counties that surround it (Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, and Galveston).