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Crime Watch/Incident

Residents, it is worth a quick reminder that maintaining an awareness of your surroundings is one of the easiest and safest ways to avoid becoming a victim of crime.  For example, when pulling into a busy parking lot we often park in the first available space without looking around at the surrounding area.   Taking an extra minute to observe your surroundings can help you avoid trouble.
Use this page/form for both Crime Watch and Incident Reporting.  (We are currently welcoming any pig sightings)
As many residents have seen the signs and uniformed officers patrolling the neighborhood this year, the Kings River HOA contracted for an Advanced Crime Watch and Patrol Program (the ”Program”) utilizing off duty police officers.  The Program is run by Kingwood residents that have a deep knowledge and experience in law enforcement and staffed by officers familiar with this area.

One of the primary goals of the Program is to have a very visible police / security presence. This is accomplished by monitoring high traffic areas, posting signs at entrances to the subdivision, and patrolling through key areas in a marked vehicle.  This presence discourages criminals from operating in our neighborhood because it is not an easy target.

Additionally, the Program encourages interaction between the officers and the residents.   One of the Program supervisors attends the monthly HOA board meeting and provides an oral report on the incidents of the previous month and follows up on any neighborhood issues brought to the HOA board’s attention.  Also, our monitored web site allows residents to report crimes, inform the officers of suspicious activity, or let the officers know a resident will be on vacation so the address will be flagged for officers during their patrols.  A report filed on the web site is typically followed up by a Program representative in person or a phone call to ensure that the resident and law enforcement are coordinated in remedying an issue.
One action item worth noting is that in response to residents’ submitting information about chronic speeding on a certain street the Harris County Sherriff’s Department allocated an officer with radar to the street at the time when speeding was most common.

In summary, the HOA board has found the Program to be highly successful.   The Program is flexible, responsive, and an efficient use of our residents money.  We know through crime statistics of King’s River versus surrounding subdivisions that our security program is effective.  And we know from the overwhelmingly positive responses we have received from residents that the neighborhood approves of the Program is doing.

Residents should continue to call 9-1-1 for emergency situations.  Non-emergency calls should be directed to the Harris County Sheriff’s office at 713-221-6000.
Please use "Fila a Crime Watch Report" to report any incidents (like a pig sighting)
Since our March HOA meeting the board has researched and investigated suggestions and ideas that were discussed at the meeting.  The Board has consulted with attorneys, security experts, law enforcement, security system/camera providers, residents, and researched literature on the web.
We will be able to discuss in more detail at the next board meeting but we can report on some of the information we have received.
  • There was a very consistent theme that a neighborhood is best secured through multiple "layers" of security that all start with the homeowner.  At its most basic level this means maintaining appropriate locks for doors and windows and proper lighting.  The use of a security (alarm) system, cameras, and owning a dog, are another layer of security.   Note that in the City of Houston and Harris County, residents with alarm systems that are monitored where a police or fire response is expected must have an active alarm permit on file with the agency (link below).  And finally, opening the home to the right people and keeping security threats outside are all actions that can be taken by the homeowners within their home and property.
  • Community involvement, knowing your neighbors, and reporting unusual activity to Law Enforcement are additional layers of security.  A community where people are out of their homes and alert is a built in neighborhood watch.  Maintaining homes, yards, and vehicles can be an indication of a community’s involvement and perhaps the diligence used in maintaining the security residents have in their homes.
  • A security patrol program is an additional layer of security that can assist the community and Law Enforcement with maintaining law and order in a neighborhood.   CCTV or other camera system could be implemented that could help Law Enforcement identify individuals after an event had occurred.  
  • Finally we have local Law Enforcement which would include the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston Police Department.
One of the critical items we heard over and over is that an HOA should not and cannot tell its residents that the HOA can guaranty the security of the subdivision.  Not only is an HOA not in a position to do this, it would be irresponsible for an HOA to imply this and have residents rely on that guaranty.  What our HOA has done is engaged an Advanced Crime Watch and Security Patrol program that provides patrols, a monitored communication platform for residents to make requests or report problems to the patrol program and the HOA's Public Safety committee.
Copied below are links to several useful websites regarding security.  They include reviews of well known security systems, do it yourself equipment, and a guide to the Texas law regarding recording devices. We are not in a position to make a recommendation for home security for each individual household, nor can we provide legal advice on what is appropriate or inappropriate to be recorded.  An additional website is a link to the Harris County Crime statistics that was requested at the last meeting.  

Lastly we are working on the implementation of a neighborhood watch including block captains that can help disseminate information, help keep people in more contact, etc. and encourage everyone to get know their neighbors better.  If you would like to volunteer or participate you can submit a crime watch report with your name and contact information letting the board know you are interested in participating.   There is also a link to the HCSO neighborhood crime watch packet to be discussed further at the April meeting.
FAQ’s – Advanced Crime Watch and Patrol Program
  • WHAT IS THE ADVANCED CRIME WATCH AND NEIGHBORHOOD PATROL PROGRAM?  This is a newly developed program that incorporates the internet as a reporting tool for use by the residents of the community.  We recognize that everyone is on email these days and this is how business gets done.  The crime reports received can be easily transmitted to our patrol officers directly and allow us to coordinate with our public safety partners in law enforcement, the fire department and EMS. Vacation watches, and extra patrol requests are also a part of this comprehensive program.
  • WHO DO I CALL WHEN I NEED THE POLICE?  You will call the Harris County Sheriff’s Office @ 713-221-6000.
  • DO THE OFF DUTY OFFICERS HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE ARRESTS AND WRITE TICKETS?  Yes. Under State Law there is no difference in duties between an Off Duty Officer and an On Duty Officer, if he is performing his duties as a Peace Officer and is in his Police uniform or has identified himself as a Police Officer if he is in civilian clothing.
  • HOW DO I CONTACT THESE OFF DUTY OFFICERS WORKING OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?  You can go to the Kings River web site where a "crime report" form is located. Fill this out completely and send it. The coordinating Officer along with a Board Member will each receive the report.  There is also a field on the form to upload a picture, if you have one.  All reports are kept confidential. They may be released to Law Enforcement as needed.
  • HOW MANY DAYS A WEEK ARE THE OFFICERS PATROLLING OUR NEIGHBORHOOD?  The Officers are in the neighborhood 36 - 40 hours a week, working various schedules. We do not publicize the hours that the Officers work.
  • WHO ARE THESE OFF DUTY OFFICERS?  These Officers are a combination of Harris County Sheriffs Deputies and Houston Police Department Officers. They work and live in the Kingwood, Atascocita area and are very familiar with the crime problems that exist in this area.
  • IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY AND NEED THE POLICE RIGHT AWAY, DO I CALL THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE OR 911?  For all emergency calls, this includes life and death situations or in progress activity, you will call 911. Everything else you will call Harris County Sheriff’s Office at 713-221-6000.