LatinaLista — A while back Latina Lista reported on a trial program that the state of Texas was conducting in using the public's help in monitoring border security with Mexico by watching live online streaming from cameras placed at strategic points along the Texas-Mexico border.
The original program had some kinks in it and was temporarily discontinued. Well, the program is back â€” bigger and funded for a full year with a $2 million state grant. (Unfortunately, when we were testing the service, there were a few cameras that were black but being only the second day of operation, we expect it will take time to work out all the kinks this go-around.)
The Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition (TBSC) has joined BlueServoSM in a public-private partnership to deploy the Virtual Community Watch, an innovative real-time surveillance program designed to empower the public to proactively participate in fighting border crime.
Located on the BlueServo site, the Virtual Border Watch consists of a network of ten cameras facing the Rio Grande River, mountains, prairie bush, dirt roads and highways. Because it's live streaming, there's no annoying breaks in the video feed and if it's a "lively" place where the wind ripples the waters and vegetation, it's pretty cool to watch. Some of the feeds are placed on desolate roads where, if you're not careful, you can fall asleep. Yet, the overall feeling is that you're participating in a giant neighborhood crime watch program.
Free sign-up is required though before you can access any of the cameras.
Once you've created an account, you're "virtually" pinned as a virtual Texas deputy and ready for duty for your virtual border stakeout. Unfortunately, you don't get a horse, a badge or even a fancy pair of Texas boots but you do get to keep an eye on some remote areas of the Texas-Mexico border where there can never be enough eyeballs watching what's going on.