Since the inception of the Brays Oaks Management District 11 years ago, the number of crimes committed has diminished by 22 percent, said Starla Turnbo of the District’s Public Safety Committee.
“Our vision is to grow the committee, reduce crime, and promote public safety,” she added.
Initiatives launched by the committee can be credited with helping achieve results, and the results are measurable, as the committee receives regular reports from local law enforcement to compare statistics from month to month and year to year. Capt. Bob Robertson of the Houston Police Department’s South Gessner Division is now one of the committee members, Turnbo said, and he provides the monthly statistics at committee meetings.
One program that has been implemented successfully is the Rental Credit Reporting (RCR) program, now in use at 97 percent of the apartment properties in the District. Turnbo said screening of potential renters covers not only their credit and rental history, but also checks for criminal history, including sex offenses.
The RCR reporting has had the added benefit of ensuring more stability and less mobility among renters so the turnover rate has lowered, she said. Brays Oaks Management District Executive Director Richard Rodriguez said the Houston Independent School District has noted this obvious and positive change regarding its students who live in the area.
Another program that has achieved some results is the District’s participation with the Harris County Attorney’s office to help close down after-hours clubs and game rooms operating illegally. The program has worked well in tandem with the District’s employment of mobile surveillance cameras.
“It moves people from that location and has helped with hot spot abatement,” Turnbo said. “People don’t want to be on camera.”
For example, the cameras have helped focus on a car wash located across from a school that has been a problem and a site of suspected drug activity for the last 20 years, she added.
The District also offers a number of free programs for businesses and residents that help with overall public safety goals, she said. The graffiti abatement program assures that tagging and marking on public or private property will be removed within 24 hours of being reported to the District via a form on its web site. Community members may also report illegal dumping, blighted areas that need attention or trash pickup, or lights that have gone out and need to be replaced, she added.
Another program that has proved helpful is a free after-school bus service that the District started and supports, which currently serves Welch and Fondren Middle Schools and Westbury High School. Although the bus service was designed to transport apartment-dwelling students, others who live within walking distance of the apartments may also ride, Turnbo added.
“We’ve been working with the principals of these schools and they love it,” she said.
Turnbo said the committee is actively seeking input from the community on its initiatives.
“We are looking for more partners for the Public Safety Committee, and we’d love to have other community members participate,” she said.
Editorial: Deliver flood money: Congress should speed up funding for Houston’s critical flood control projects
- “It used to be that Representatives could use an earmark to direct the Army Corps of Engineers to put politically important projects at the top of the list. Now discretion is largely left up to executive agencies.
- “That’s why U.S. Rep. Al Green, a Democrat, proposed a bill that will authorize $311 million in supplemental disaster funds to be spent exclusively for flood control projects in the Houston area. That proposal, House Bill 5025, will set a 10-year deadline for spending these funds and already has 72 co-sponsors, including every Republican representative in the Houston delegation.”
- “It hasn’t been tried since I’ve been in Congress that a group of members would come together on such a good, bipartisan basis,” Rep. Gene Green, a Democratic co-sponsor, told the editorial board.”
- “The best thing that Houstonians can do to push the bill along is tell their friends and relatives across the country to encourage their own representatives to support the Tax Day Floods Supplemental Funding Act. Consider those phone calls and emails to be the thoughts and prayers that flood survivors really need.”
- “Flood control is the sort of project where Congress is either going to pay now or pay later. Whether through FEMA spending, flood recovery or lost federal investments – floods cost Texas more than $3 billion last year, largely from damaged infrastructure – taxpayers will eventually bear a burden from these natural disasters. Paying for prevention up front will save us in the long run.”
- “Until then, Al Green and Gene Green and their colleagues are working to help Houston at least get the money we need to prepare our city for the next big storm.”
The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department has started the final collection pass for the Tax Day Storm 2016. The last day for collection will be Saturday, June 11, 2106 for ALL residents.
Items should be segregated into six (6) piles away from fire hydrants, mailboxes, power lines and other objects that will hamper safe pickup.
Debris separation piles:
- Normal Household Trash – Normal household trash and bagged debris of any kind will not be picked up with debris as part of this program. You should continue to follow your normal garbage schedule.
- Vegetative Debris – leaves (do not put in bags), logs, plants, tree branches.
- Construction & Demolition Debris – building materials, carpet, drywall, furniture, lumber, mattresses and plumbing.
- Appliances & White Goods – air conditioners, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and water heaters.
- Electronics – computers, radios, stereos, televisions, other devices with a cord.
- Household Hazardous Waste – cleaning supplies, batteries, lawn chemical, oils, oil-based paints, stains and pesticides
For more information about the City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department and its services, residents may check online at www.houstonsolidwaste.org, like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/houstonsolidwaste, follow us on twitter @houstontrash or call 3-1-1, the City of Houston’s Customer Service Helpline.
The Solid Waste Management Department provides solid waste service to the citizens of Houston through the collection, disposal and recycling of discarded material in a manner that is safe, efficient, environmentally sound and cost-effective.
Questions or concerns contact:
Irma Reyes, Public Information Officer
(832) 393-0475 office
The City of Houston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is reminding Houstonians that Hurricane Season starts June 1st and runs through November 30th. Houstonians should take steps to begin the process of preparing.
Storms like Alison, Ike and Carla have all impacted Houston at various times throughout the season, so it’s important to prepare now.
Steps to Prepare
OEM reminds Houstonians of the four emergency preparedness steps:
Make an Emergency Plan
Every Houston family should have an emergency plan that details where they will go in the event of an emergency. Those Houston families who live in a hurricane evacuation zone should know where they will go ahead of time and have an out-of-town contact to check-in with to make sure the family is able to communicate. A sample plan is available from Ready.gov.
Only those residents who either live in an evacuation zone, or who use a medical device which requires electricity to sustain their life should evacuate ahead of a storm. To find local evacuation zones, visit houstontx.gov/hurricanes and click on “Hurricane Evacuation”. Houston residents who might need additional help in evacuating during a disaster can visit the OEM website to learn more about the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), which is used by local agencies to identify those with disabilities and other needs, in an effort to provide better assistance to them ahead of, and after an emergency.
Residents should also know their level of risk ahead of a storm. The Houston Storm Risk Calculator (houstonstormrisk.org) displays a map of hurricane risks from storm surge, flooding, wind and power outage down to the neighborhood level.
Have an Emergency Supply Kit
Houston residents should have what they need to be on their own for 5-7 days following a storm. This includes food, water, medications and individual needs such as medical devices or pet supplies. Additionally, its important to have tools, sturdy shoes and clothes to help in the immediate repair of your home following a storm.
Know where to go to get updated information, this includes local television and radio, as well as official websites such as:
- City of Houston Emergency Information Center: houstontx.gov/emergency
- National Hurricane Center: hurricanes.gov
- National Weather Service Houston-Galveston: weather.gov/houston
- Official Social Media Channels:
- City of Houston Emergency Information: Twitter: @AlertHouston Facebook: facebook.com/alerthouston
- City of Houston Office of Emergency Management: Twitter: @houstonoem Facebook: facebook.com/houstonoem Instagram: @houstonoem
- National Hurricane Center: Twitter: @NHC_Atlantic
- National Weather Service Houston/Galveston Forecast Office: Twitter: @NWSHouston Facebook: facebook.com/nwshouston
Know your Neighbors
During disasters, having a community around you that can help is essential to making it through. Meet your neighbors, and build a plan that includes sharing resources, such as generators, chainsaws and tools to prepare for, and respond to a hurricane.
For more information helping your neighborhood get ready for hurricane season, visit neighborhood.readyhoustontx.gov
Need More Information?
The City’s Disaster Preparedness Guide, which is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, Arabic and Urdu to Houston residents and businesses free by calling 311 or visiting houstonoem.org has a detailed list of what should be in your emergency kit, as well as the steps you should take to prepare your family ahead of a hurricane.
The May edition of the Northfield I & II Subdivision News is available for download. It contains 12 pages of community events and information that are occurring around the area. If you have community news that you would like to place in our newsletter, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The District really has a lot to be proud of – old alliances and new partnerships have really made all the difference” says David Hawes, Executive Director of the Brays Oaks District. This year the District solidified its commitment to public safety by partnering with HPD by funding of mobile camera emplacements, running statistical analysis and identifying crime hot spots for targeted enforcement. Continue Reading »
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and several city council members celebrated Wednesday (Oct. 12) the grand opening of the new home of the South Gessner Patrol Division. Continue Reading »