This article describes the use and effectiveness of the video surveillance system used to secure the U.S.-Mexico border by the Eagle Pass Police Department in Texas.
Through the assistance of the Border Research and Technology Center (BRTC), a program of the Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Eagle Pass Police Department obtained a sophisticated video surveillance system to combat illegal immigration and narcotics smuggling from Mexico. The system includes three cameras that provide full-time coverage with a 360-degree view that looks over a bridge, nearby pedestrian and railroad bridges, local roads, and the riverbank. The system has the capability to pan, tilt, and zoom, and also has infrared technology for nighttime vision. Officers can move the cameras at their discretion and even zoom in close enough to record license plate numbers. Additionally, if the system detects unusual movement, it flags the video stream for analysis. According to data from the Eagle Pass Police Department, the video surveillance system has significantly decreased illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking on the once heavily-traveled route from Mexico to the United States. During the first 6 months of the system's operation, illegal immigration and narcotics trafficking came to a virtual stand still, decreasing dramatically from 2005 figures that recorded over 15,000 migrants from Central America and Brazil illegally crossing in the Eagle Pass area during an 8-month period. Contact information is provided.
Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Date Published: April 1, 2007