Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sheriff reports on policing in The Woodlands

As we head into transition to one contract for policing the community, there are some opportunities to improve on what we have started. Generally, the community has been nervous lately about all the news and rumors floating around about bank robberies, car break-ins and suspicious persons. As the Sheriff noted tonight at an association meeting, statistics still support the statement that The Woodlands is "the safest place to live in Montgomery County", possibly in Texas. A special task force to deal with the perpetrators of the bank robberies has been working hard and long to solve all the robberies here. All the other email chains and rumors are not on their books and may have never happened. "If there is a problem, there is a solution to the problem." Basically, he is concerned that perhaps people may not be reporting some of the crimes. Unreported crimes never happened statistically. No one is working to solve or prevent them. So please, make sure you report crimes to the Sheriff, especially if you experience one or if you are a victim.

"The Woodlands contract is sort of special to me", he went on. After all, it's been his baby. "I am surrounded by good people." That makes his team competent and resourceful. He reminded residents that traffic stops account for a large portion of criminal abatement in a community. Recent studies in one state revealed a 90% reduction of crimes as a result of traffic stops. A similar study will be conducted in Montgomery County to see if we have the same or similar data relationships.

In 2010 it is hoped by some that we will have an expanded system similar to the Dotson recommendation where there is basically one officer assigned to each village around the clock. The budget will be monitored in 2009 to see if we have favorable budget to support something better in 2010.

In my opinion, based on statistics and the Sheriff's department track record, I believe we are in very good shape but may need a little more help on the fringes of the community. We need to be cautious and not over spend with too much of a police presence. I certainly hope we do not have any more bank robbing residents here, but glad the department found this one in a routine traffic stop, as the sheriff confirmed. We were just lucky on this one. Part of that luck was not luck at all, because we had the deputy presence required for the traffic enforcement that incarcerated the alleged resident.

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