The city of Dallas will soon employ a collections team armed with security cameras who will roam the streets to catch people with outstanding city debt.
The kicker is a law firm will fund the new project and will reap profits for every person who pays the city what’s owed. The law office of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson doubles as a collection agency. They are prepared to collect from violators and use the money collected to pay for the system. According to The Dallas Morning News, Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson have decided to use Houston-based, Municipal Intelligence Group as violation hunters using this license plate recognition software to help catch those who owe money to the city. More than 1,800 field agents will be armed with cameras scanning and photographing vehicles for violations. The software will process your vehicle if you owe money to the city and a sticker will be placed on your car as a warning for you to contact the law office for an outstanding debt – if you don’t pay within a certain amount of time, you could go to jail.
The North Texas Transportation Authority (NTTA) has already been using this technology with its TollTag system, sending bills to customers months after they pass through toll ways. The major difference is that no one is physically scanning your vehicle and entering the information into the city’s database. Now, the same system used by the NTTA will hit the streets, but with human collection officials scouring roads for people who owe the city money.
This new program has sparked controversy regarding violations of privacy. The new software is suppose to catch criminals, but often times people unknowingly have overdue parking tickets and traffic violations.
According the Municipal Intelligence Group, this security effort is already being used in 27 metropolitan areas throughout the nation.
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