We thank District J Council Member Edward Pollard and the Houston Police Department for continuing their work to keep our neighborhoods safe, in this instance with new patrol vehicles that can move off-road quickly.
Council Member Edward Pollard Announces New Community Policing Program for District J
Two Polaris patrol vehicles dedicated to District J to be unveiled during press conference
City Council Member Edward Pollard will announce details of his plan for a new, modern way to address community policing in District J during a press conference, Thursday, September 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the HPD Midwest Station, located at 7277 Regency Square Blvd, Houston, Texas 77036. The event also includes the unveiling of two new Polaris off-road vehicles.
“When I began my campaign to become the council member for District J, I vowed to address concerns residents have around public safety, and in the last few months, it has become very clear that a re-imagined approach to community policing is necessary. It is my belief that fostering a collaborative relationship between law enforcement and residents is a step in the right direction toward creating a safer district and a safer city. My hope is that our District J Patrol program can become a model for others looking for ideas of how to modernize public safety,” Council Member Pollard said. Click here to access the District J Patrol Explainer.
The District J Patrol program is a three-prong approach that bridges the gap between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve. This new public safety initiative includes neighborhood patrolling by the Houston Police Department’s Differential Response Team (DRT), the use of two new Polaris vehicles, and the District J Patrol Community Committee.
The Houston Police Department is operating with far fewer officers than other major cities of similar size in the United States. To help bridge that gap, Council Member Pollard created the District J Patrol Community Committee, which is comprised of 10 individuals from within the district who will serve as a liaison between the community and the police department. The committee members were selected based on their existing leadership and engagement within their own neighborhoods in District J, and they will focus on quality of life concerns and neighborhood violations and work directly with HPD’s Differential Response Team (DRT) making this patrol primarily community-driven. The DRT is a specially trained group of officers experienced with problem-solving strategies that work proactively to address problems at the neighborhood level, including class involving mental health or substance abuse issues.
DRT patrol officers will have use of two new Polaris off-road vehicles assigned specifically to District J. These vehicles can reach speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and are designed with an “open” concept, allowing residents and offers to better engage with one another. The Polaris vehicles also provide access to areas regular police patrol cars do not, such as parks, vacant lots and bayous.
Speakers at the event will include Council Member Pollard, Commander Jennifer Read from the Midwest Substation and Commander Ban Tien from the South Gessner Substation. Other invited guests include Mayor Sylvester Turner, Police Chief Art Acevedo, City Council At-Large members, Assistant Chief Charles Finner, Assistant Chief Matt Slinkard, Assistant Chief Wendy Baimbridge, and Assistant Chief Michael Skillern.