Rough Hollow surveillance cameras will be removed from the streets of the Town of Lakeway

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Lakeway City Council reported the presence of surveillance cameras in Rough Hollow during the June 21 council meeting. (Community impact newspaper staff)

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A series of eight cameras designed to monitor motorists traveling West Lakeway in the Rough Hollow subdivision will be removed after it was discussed at the Lakeway City Council meeting on June 21 that the video equipment has been installed without the approval of the board members.

The cameras, reportedly installed in March, can be found along a main thoroughfare on Highlands Boulevard and Duffy Lane and Highlands Boulevard and Bee Creek Road. Other locations are near the intersections of Bee Creek and White Horse Cove, Peninsula Way, and Primo Fiore Terrace.

Lakeway Mayor Tom Kilgore brought the issue to the council’s agenda after hearing about the cameras to alert the general public to the presence of the cameras, which, according to a discussion at the June 21 meeting, were installed on the basis of an agreement signed by the old Lakeway. Police Chief Todd Radford with camera maker Flock Safety. The move was reportedly part of an initiative with the Rough Hollow Homeowners Association.

Bill Hayes, COO of Legend Communities, who developed the community of Rough Hollow, who was in attendance for another board agenda item, told board members at a open hearing on the matter he was unaware that the cameras were not part of an official city initiative and the cameras would be removed.

“The system was presented to us in a way with the approval of the Lakeway Police,” said Hayes. “We thought we were basically doing a favor by allowing that to stand up. I’m going to order them to take them apart immediately, all the cameras. We thought we were a good partner with the city.

Much of the council’s discussion around the cameras was that the city had no policy in place with the manufacturer of the cameras to handle the data collected by the cameras, which record license plate numbers and compare license plates. ‘motorist registration with large crime prevention databases to determine if the license plate number has been reported stolen.

The data is also shared with the Lakeway Police Department, but Capt.David Crowder, who serves as interim chief of police while the city searches for a replacement for Radford, said he knew very little about the system.

During the meeting, Council member Gretchen Vance asked Crowder how Radford signed a contract to install the cameras.

“I can’t tell you how it went, other than Flock offered to share this information with us and there have been a few meetings about it. We’re not involved in data collection or anything like that. “

Vance then asked if Crowder knew if Flock shared Rough Hollow’s data with his national law enforcement data network known as Talon. Crowder said he didn’t know. In the past six months, Rough Hollow cameras have contributed to two investigations into the theft of building materials, according to the council discussion.

Earlier in the conversation, Vance said she was concerned that the presence of cameras on the streets of the town of Lakeway and constant electronic surveillance could violate the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens from searches. and abusive foreclosures.

“Going down a road, you expect your data not to be collected,” Vance said. “The HOA placed these cameras not on their private roads but on city roads as a priority. And to collect information about the innocent activity of a citizen, just in case he does something wrong, I have absolute and fundamental opposition to that.

A phone call to Radford has not been returned at the time of this article’s publication.

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