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The Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition (TBSC) has instituted the Texas Virtual Border Watch Program to enlist the public’s assistance in preventing crime along the Texas-Mexico border. This initiative provides real-time streaming video over a web-based network to enable the public to report suspicious activity to the appropriate law enforcement agency via e-mail. Day and night surveillance cameras have been strategically placed throughout the border region...
In the first six months of the grant period, the coalition spent $625,000 to get the cameras running.
The Web site went public Nov. 19, and in the first month saw nearly 2 million hits.
All those hits didn't translate into much law enforcement work, though, according to a six-month progress report required for the grant.
The report describes both the objectives for the program during the first year of the grant and how much progress was made in achieving those goals.
The coalition's goal was to make 1,200 arrests as a result of tips from the online cameras in the first year of the project.
They made three arrests in the first six months, according to the progress report.
Of some 4,500 suspected immigration violations they expected to report to U.S. Border Patrol in the year, the first six months produced six.
The report also showed the group installed just 13 of 200 cameras it planned to install this year.