“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. We also committed resources to go after nuisance properties, keep at risk teenagers off the streets with our after school bus program and partnered with one of the longest running apartment safety coalitions in the City. These efforts in part contributed to the District receiving recognition for “Excellence in Public Safety” by Houston City Council’s Public Safety Committee for 2011.
Mobile Surveillance Cameras
The District began the use of mobile cameras in January of 2010. Since that time, the District has been able to track major reductions in crime in and around the areas where they have been deployed. Mobile surveillance cameras have proven to be an excellent deterrent and investigative tool for our local law enforcement officers. The units have a self-contained digital video recorder (DVR) which local law enforcement can access and retrieve data to aid in their investigations. The District has plans to expand this program next year and will deploy extra cameras this year near the commercial shopping corridors to help protect and deter crime during the holiday season.
Early on the District understood the need to partner with the Houston Police Department by aiding in the dissemination of notifications of community related events. The District assists HPD by notifying the community of Police Interaction Program (P.I.P) events and promotion of HPD’s Blue Star Program. In 2011, a joint venture between the District and HPD’s Hot Spot team resulted in the capture and prosecution of a prolific graffiti tagger whose defacements had cost the city and neighboring districts over $30,000 in abatement expenditures. With the addition of an Assistant County Attorney contracted to the District the management district is building a coalition of State, County, and City law enforcement agencies working in tandem with one another to address nuisance properties in the community. With this coalition at work, 2012 looks to be a year that will set its own benchmarks.
Crime Mapping /Analytics
The District receives a monthly report of all crimes committed in the community each month. This data is filtered via a Geographical Information System (G.I.S.) and used to identify high crime properties and crime trends. This data is extremely useful and helps aid in the allocation of resources and tracking the impact of proactive crime prevention measures.
Apartment Cluster Committee Meetings
The District’s Multi-Family Initiatives are a holistic approach to improving our apartment communities featuring components to exchange tenant information, pro-active crime prevention and featured guest speakers who address the concerns of our multi-family communities. This year the District partnered with local public safety icons, Perry Radoff and Ruth Hurst, to address crime in the District’s multi-family communities. Ruth Hurst has been chairing the apartment cluster meetings for 17 years and has welcomed the participation of the District in her efforts. These apartment cluster meetings are open for membership to all multi- family property owners and managers in the community. To learn more contact Ruth Hurst at RTOPSY[email protected] or Richard Rodriguez at [email protected].
After School Bus Program
Since 2009, the District has provided after-school bus service for the two middle schools in the District (Fondren and Welch). Services to Westbury Christian were added this year. The District funds after school bus services for children who would like to stay for after school enrichment but lack transportation. This aides the District’s refugee population and latch key apartment residents by providing transportation for participating after school enrichment courses. The program was further expanded in 2011 to the India House to provide transportation from Bell, Milne and Valley West Elementary. Buses from these schools take children to the India House to participate in after-school enrichment activities.