Council approves purchase of more license plate detectors

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/26/22

The Katy City Council Monday authorized the purchase of 10 additional license plate readers to help police solve crimes.

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Council approves purchase of more license plate detectors

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The Katy City Council Monday authorized the purchase of 10 additional license plate readers to help police solve crimes.

In January 2020, the council approved the police’s request to install 23 such readers in various spots around the city. In a memo to council urging the additional readers, Police Chief Noe Diaz said the readers provide “best artificial intelligence and will allow the department to collaborate and share information with neighboring cities and counties.”

The units cost $2,500 each, and there is a $2,500 initiation fee for these units.

The Police Department asked for more readers to give coverage in the city. Diaz said the department last year solved hundreds of cases with the help of the readers. He said police arrested suspects for various crimes that would have otherwise gone unsolved.

“We still currently have 23 ALPR cameras and are looking to increase that by adding 10 new cameras,” Diaz said. “These new cameras will be placed in areas where we have seen an increase in crime and will allow us to reduce the crime occurring in those areas.”

City Administrator Byron Hebert also praised the readers.

“They’ve proven very valuable to us,” Hebert said.

Ward A Council Member Dan Smith and Ward B Council Member Rory Robertson expressed their support for the idea.

“It stops crimes and makes our community safer,” Robertson said.

New stop signs for Morton Road

The council passed an ordinance authorizing the installation of stop signs on Morton Road near the intersection with Pitts Road.

Assistant City Administrator Anas Garfaoui said that Morton Road, which runs east and west, would have a stop sign on either side of both the new Pitts Road, which is south of Morton Road, and the existing Pitts Road on the north.

At its Jan. 10 meeting, the council approved plans to realign the new Pitts Road and Cane Island with the existing Pitts Road. A three-way stop will be installed when that realignment is complete.

Estimated cost of the realignment project is $2.4 million.

Mayor gives health update

Mayor Bill Hastings presided over Monday’s meeting after dealing with COVID-19 for the past 15 days. He said he was feeling better and thanked everyone for their calls and well wishes.

He joked that he didn’t think anybody missed him during his absence.

“This city never slowed down,” Hastings said. “We have a wonderful staff, a wonderful council.”

Hastings missed the Jan. 10 council meeting and the Jan. 13 State of the City presentation sponsored by the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harris served as Hastings’s stand in at both events.

Smith said while Hastings was missed at the State of the City event, Harris and Hebert represented the city well.

Hastings recently announced he would not seek re-election as mayor.

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