Last year the BOMD Public Safety Committee successfully pushed forward multiple initiatives that have resulted in an improved Brays Oaks community. Building upon well-known existing events, like National Night Out, and the Houston Police Department’s community engagement programs, our area has seen confidence and trust grow between residents, businesses, and those working to keep us safe. Existing partnerships with the Harris County Attorney have also made our nuisance abatement interactions with property owners more successful leading to improved safety and quality of life improvements within the District.
In 2019, the Brays Oaks Management District worked with Commander Craig Bellamy of the South Gessner Command Substation to provide the initial Laser Shot Simulator Training for local officers. The pilot, which provided officers with active shooter training, proved so successful that it has now been instituted across all Houston Police Department divisions. “Officers across the city were able to benefit from the training,” says Cmdr. Bellamy. “We are really proud to lead the city with this program.” The immersive scenario training, made possible with funding provided by Brays Oaks Management District, improves judgement reactions of officers in high-stress situations and reduces the use of excessive force.
In addition to the ongoing relationship with Cmdr. Bellamy at the South Gessner Command Sub-Station, the Public Safety Committee, led by Chair Starla Turnbo, has also expanded outreach to include the Cmdr. Knoll at the Southwest Substation. Cmdr. Knoll, and his colleagues are exploring ways to engage and educate the public about crime patterns and disrupt criminal life cycles. Houston Police Department Bike Teams and Special Divisions (Robbery, Burglary, Differential Response Teams (DRT)*, and Theft) will also be proactively working to disrupt criminal activity in our local community. One example of their efforts is the creation of E-Commerce Zones “safe spaces” equipped with signage, lighting, and security cameras that offer assurance of safety to buyers and sellers on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and other e-commerce sites. Teams have also helped curtail illegal dumping with new mobile security cameras. These improvements to our local environment potentially help create a safer community for everyone.
*The Differential Response Team (DRT) in Brays Oaks is yet another specialized law enforcement program designed to address diverse problems such as un-kept lots, residential improprieties, multi-family ordinance violations, environmental lawlessness and business licensing regulations, as well as responding to crime problems as identified through crime analysis. On a routine basis, the DRT also meets with the community members, encouraging the involvement of the community in the problem-solving process. Ultimately, the goal is to have an overall impact benefiting the Brays Oaks community.
BOMD is also looking forward to the 2020 National Night Out, an event which the District participates in annually. “National Night Out is a great opportunity for the Brays Oaks Community to connect to those that serve our residents and businesses,” says Turnbo. The event will take place on Tuesday, October 6 in the Fiesta parking lot on Bellfort and Pollo Campero will be providing snacks. Busy Bee Wellness, will be offering onsite health screenings in their new 38’ mobile medical unit, and Urban Outreach will highlight their Kids Club after-school program geared towards helping kids living in apartment communities with their homework.
“Improving the district and assisting local businesses is important and knowing we have a big focus on public safety at all levels is important,” Turnbo. “I have businesses and people I work with, and many people living in our apartment buildings – I want to do my part to help keep the area safe.”
We look forward to continuing these Public Safety initiatives so that 2020 will be the best and safest year yet for our community.