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City Working to Install High-Tech Cameras to Deter Illegal D

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BROWNSVILLE – Officials said cameras are currently placed on light poles throughout Brownsville to catch illegal dumpers in action. The problem is, the cameras are outdated and provide poor quality evidence.

According to Brownsville Health Director Art Rodriguez, these motion-sensor cameras are outdated and the images they capture help little when trying to convict illegal dumpers.

"The older technology needed really good lighting, and there were, like I said, very narrow points-of-view," Rodriguez said, "so if someone dumped out of focus of the camera, you weren't going to catch a lot of information."

He said that's about to change.

Rodriguez showed CHANNEL 5 NEWS a stack of illegal dumping cases that his department is currently working on. He said this is why city commissioners are now equipping the department with about $200,000 to upgrade to high-tech cameras.

He said they'll be able to see illegal dumpers clearly from a further distance and will have the ability to relay those images right to workers phones.

"If you've been dumping in Brownsville, those days are numbered. Because although in the past we haven't been able to catch everyone who is illegally dumping, by moving forward with technology we are hoping to have a higher rate of convictions," Rodriguez said.

Brownsville resident Norm Rourke said he wants one of those new cameras placed at the corner of FM 1421 and Colorado Street. He said he’s tired of seeing this dumpsite during his drive home.

"I don't understand why people don't want their neighborhood and their community to look good, I just can't comprehend that," Rourke said. “And this just makes the whole place look bad, and Brownsville is a nice place and people just trash it - it makes me mad!"

He's hopeful the new cameras will at least make people think twice before throwing their trash where it doesn't belong.

"I think that'll help maybe stop it, or at least slow it down, and give other people who are thinking of doing it at least something to think about," Rourke said.

Rodriguez said right now, they are evaluating all their data to determine where the new cameras will be placed.

He said they won't announce where the cameras will be placed but citizens are encouraged to make suggestions. They can do so by calling the city's hotline at 546-4357.

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