FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth is spending half a million dollars to keep an eye on the back roads and dead ends where trouble keeps piling up.
The city is investing in 100 new cameras, specifically to catch people dumping trash illegally. The first cameras are expected to be put into use this month.
The investment comes as trash cleaned from illegal dump sites in the city has increased since 2013. Almost 3,700 tons were collected in 2016.
Fort Worth uses hidden cameras at chronic problem sites now, but they don’t always contain enough detail to use in prosecution.
“You could see what the people looked like,” said code compliance director Brandon Bennett about a video captured in May. “You could see what the vehicle looked like. But you couldn’t see it well enough to read a license plate number, or to actually look at their face close enough to put it on the news and say do you know this person who was dumping?”
The new cameras will do those things, he said. They are similar to cameras also purchased by the police department.
Fort Worth is spending about $500,000 for the new technology. If they work, they could cut down on the $2.4 million budgeted this year for investigating, enforcing and cleaning these sites up.
The city of Dallas continues to report success with its own enhanced camera program, with chronic dumping sites now numbering only about three dozen.