Since 2011, Woodland Heights Civic Association has administered a Constable Patrol Program, serviced by Harris County Precinct One. Our Constable Patrol Program is a supplemental police force, currently two deputies, hired to patrol our neighborhood for two 40-hour shifts per week.
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Constable Patrol subscription effective April 1 through March 31 of the following year.
...or Constable Patrol subscription that is automatically renewed each year.
The presence of the Constable Patrol benefits everyone in our neighborhood. Click here if you can give a little extra, like $25, to ensure the continued presence of deputies patrolling our streets.
To pay by check, download our registration form and follow the mailing instructions.
The program is funded solely by paid subscriptions. Please help us sustain both of our patrol shifts and encourage your neighbors to join — the more members we have, the more patrol coverage we can support.
General Program Details
The boundaries of the Program are the defined areas shown in the map. Each deputy patrols the neighborhood 40 hours/week on different shifts in a marked car to deter crime throughout the neighborhood. They also answer alarm calls, respond to HPD dispatch requests, perform vacation watches and free home security inspections for subscribers, and perform general law enforcement activities such as write tickets/make arrests, etc.
In addition to the benefit of increased law enforcement presence throughout the neighborhood, the program provides benefits to subscribers, such as:
- Vacation checks;
- Home security checks; and
- Email crime alerts through the Nextdoor forum private group for Constable Program members.
- The Precinct One Constable Dispatch number is available to contact (713-755-7628) or alert our deputies via the Constable’s Office, though we recommend calling 911 for crimes in progress.
The Constable Program Year is aligned with the WHCA Fiscal Year and runs from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.
frequently asked questions
Should I call the Constable or 911?
It is recommended that all crimes in progress be handled through 911. Our Constable deputies monitor HPD communications, and using 911 increases the likelihood of rapid response by bringing HPD into the loop. After calling 911, you may also consider calling Precinct One Dispatch. Several surrounding neighborhoods also have Constable Patrols, and nearby deputies regularly respond to calls in adjoining neighborhoods.
Why should I report minor crimes such as theft?
Please report all criminal activity to HPD. Area law enforcement, and particularly HPD allocate resources depending on need. Crime report data are used heavily in this regard, and are also useful in identifying trends.
How do I report crime?
Thefts and criminal mischief with damage of less than $5000 may be reported through the HPD website at http://www.houstontx.gov/police/online_police_report. If the crime involves a vehicle or information that can be used to solve the crime exists, you must call 713-884-3131 to report it. Examples of information that requires a crime to be called in include: signs of forced entry, fingerprints or other evidence left at the scene that could be processed by police, information such as surveillance photos with pictures of the suspect or a license plate number is available). Again, if the crime is in progress, please call 911.
Should I report suspicious activity?
Our deputies prefer that you err on the side of alerting Precinct One Dispatch if you see something that concerns you. They can filter whether it is information to be acted on, and they want to know what is happening in the neighborhood. Don’t hesitate to contact Precinct One Dispatch to report something.
Questions or concerns about the Constable Patrol Program or neighborhood security in general?
How is the program administered by WHCA?
The Program was started in 2011 by David Jordan. Initially, we had a single 40-hour patrol. Casey Ballard took over from David and in her three years at the helm, grew the Program to two 40-hour patrols. We are barely at the sustenance level for two patrols, but there is always hope that we can continue to expand the Program through increased membership.
The WHCA VP Security, in conjunction with the WHCA Board, administers the Program, including direct communications with Harris County Precinct One Administration and our patrol deputies.
How many households currently participate in it?
We have to commit in advance to patrol contracts, so we are limited in what we can do to experiment with pricing under the theory that lower pricing would increase participation. The surest way to maintain or increase patrol coverage or lower prices is to increase participation – so please encourage your neighbors to join. Of approximately 2000 households in Woodland Heights, we currently have only about 400 Constable Patrol Subscribers.
When do we renew constable memberships?
The subscription year runs concurrent with the WHCA membership year – April through March. We begin our membership drive in February of each year. We send out email notices to all prior-year subscribers and everyone on Next Door. Payment is accepted through check or PayPal. New for 2015 is we will institute an auto-renewal feature that you may use.
Why can’t we take payments in installments?
We do not have the manpower to administer periodic (e.g., monthly) payments, and they are problematic in any event because we have to know we are financially able to honor the contracts we sign. We operate on a bare bones budget and presently don’t have any room to stretch out payments.