Most families would agree that living in a safe neighborhood and city is one of the most important qualities when choosing the city to move to and settle down in. Here in Houston, families are taking on an additional expense of 310 dollars per month to provide additional security from police officers in the area. With the program being staffed by 50 different deputies, who work 40 hour weeks, various services are provided such as vacation home watch, swift and prompt response to emergency calls, doing routine security home inspections, and answering any home alarms that go off in the area that they are designated to patrol.
With 15 neighborhoods in the Houston area subscribing to this supplemental police service, it is an entirely optional service available to the communities. This does come with a downside for those who don’t utilize the service, however, as a typical emergency call can take nearly an hour for a Houston police officer to respond to. For those who enroll in the service, an emergency response time could take as little as two minutes.
Other advantages of this program include a personal number provided to clients. They can dial in to their local supplemental dispatch for any concern they may have and receive swift response. Should the situation arise, the officer on scene can act within accordance of the law, just as any other officer can. Making arrests and writing tickets when necessary are within their scope of work as well.
This program started out after an outcry of Houston residents who were fed up with the amount of crime in their area. They wanted faster response times from officers and to feel that they were living in a safe area. With the city of Houston being as large as it is, it is hard for the police force to keep up with the amount of calls they receive on a daily basis.
This added service acts similarly to a private security company, at a fraction of the cost. With the current neighborhoods contracted within Houston, each has seen a drastic decline in the crime rate of their area. The added presence of law enforcement has contributed to taking burglaries and auto thefts down to almost zero.
The areas that have not contracted with this supplemental police service, however, have not seen this decrease in crime. Naturally, with the amount of crime decrease seen in the contracted communities, it only makes sense to subscribe to this service. Subscribing is something all communities are welcome to do at any time, and the program encourages it.
However, it isn’t only the presence of the police officers that deter these crimes. Law enforcement makes a point to interact with the community that they are serving. They teach homeowners about proper safety and security to establish in their homes. Officers get to know the families they serve, including their pets and kids. Knowledge on home security is an important foundation of staying secure in your home, but it is important to not only rely on the police for this.
Homeowners can utilize a multitude of home security tools such as cameras, security systems, guard dogs, additional locks on doors or even locked gates. However, for those who want the added service and security of a police officer in their area at all times, it is a great idea to petition your community to step up and enroll in supplemental police security. For such a small yearly fee, communities will feel more protected in their homes and rest easy knowing that their families are safe, and that is something truly priceless.