The Houston Heights Association is looking for more households to sign up for its Constable Patrol Program, for which enrollment just opened in February, as the organization looks to renew its contract for the upcoming year.
HHA’s Constable Program is a supplemental police force of currently four deputies hired to patrol the greater Heights area, according to the organization.
There are currently 629 subscribers who have signed up, according to Heights Constable Patrol Committee Chair Tera Starr, down from 1,069 last year and 1,347 people in 2019 immediately before the COVID-19 pandemic. Starr said the program needs 1175 subscribers this year if the neighborhood want to keep the current coverage
“We need to increase participation if we want this program to stay in our neighborhood,” Starr said. “… We need a big push from the community to keep this service stay in our neighborhood.”
If they are members of the Constable Patrol Program, Star said homeowners will have faster response times from patrolling constable deputies as opposed to waiting for HPD as well as alarm monitoring, free home security inspections, vacation watches, and more once they sign up. Businesses can also sign up for the program, according to Starr.
Having the program, Starr said, can be a boon to the neighborhood in several ways. In addition to deterring crime, she said even the fact that community members know their house is being watched by a trusted deputy can be a huge peace of mind and lift weight off their shoulders.
“Those that understand the importance have used the number and understand why it is important to them and their family or business,” she said. “… If this program goes away, so does the rapid response time to any calls in our neighborhood.”
That has been true for those such as Lamar Mathews and her husband, who have signed up for the program since its inception in 2016. From the vacation watch to response times in incidents such as a shootout that happened in the neighborhood years ago, she said it is an invaluable resource to the neighborhood.
“It’s like having your own personal security force for less than a dollar a day,” she said. “We’re so grateful (the HHA) provides this program to our neighborhood.”
For more information on the Heights Constable Patrol program or to sign up for the program, visit houstonheights.org/constable-2/.
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