September 16, 2013 -- With piles of used furniture, yard waste, mattresses and other discarded items serving as the backdrop, Mayor Annise Parker and District B Council Member Jerry Davis kicked off a pilot project to catch those responsible for illegal dumping. Funding for the project, approximately $250,000, was included in this year’s city budget as a result of an amendment presented by CM Davis. Five surveillance cameras have been placed at undisclosed locations in Davis’ northeast Houston City Council district.
“Today, District B takes a step forward in our fight against illegal dumping,” said Davis. “With these HPD monitored surveillance cameras, we are sending a clear message to anybody thinking about dumping in our neighborhoods. We are watching; we will find you and we will prosecute you.”
“Illegal dumping shows disrespect for our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Parker. “Residents are tired of it and should not have to tolerate it any longer. I want to thank Council Member Davis for the budget amendment to fund this pilot project. Let’s catch some criminals.”
The exact locations of the cameras will NOT be made public. During the three-month pilot project, Houston Police Department’s Environmental Investigations Unit (EIU) will monitor and maintain all activity captured by the cameras. When signs of illegal dumping are observed, EIU will send the information to HPD’s North or Northeast Divisions for follow-up. It is estimated 50 to 80 cases will be generated each month. DRT officers will also notify the Solid Waste Department of the illegal dumping site and request that they make a special pick up.
HPD will be compiling the following information:
- Number of violations
- Number of people involved
- Types of arrests & charges
- Types of trash being dumped (garbage, tree trimmings, furniture, tires, etc.)
- Pounds, volume, or cubic feet of items dumped
- Interviews with the suspects to determine why they dumped at this location, have they dumped before, do they know about the COH sites for legal elimination of items
The above information will help in deciding whether or not the program should be expanded.