PUBLIC SAFETY & SECURITY – Harris County Sheriff’s Store Front Office
The East Aldine Management District Sheriff’s Store Front is currently being operated out of the main offices of the District at 5333 Aldine Mail Route. The office is open during regular business hours Monday through Friday and staffed by Deputies from the Community Services Division. Citizens can walk in to make a report, request department assistance, or obtain literature or information on a variety of crime prevention and public safety related issues. In addition, there are numerous Sheriff’s investigative units housed at the store front that also serve the community.
Working Smarter: DRT comes to East Aldine District
East Aldine has created the first Differential Response Team, (DRT) for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office! Comprised of three deputies and one sergeant, the team addresses many of the community’s most chronic issues, conducts investigations ahead of potential Chapter 125 Nuisance Abatement actions and investigates a wide variety of community problems both civil and criminal in nature with the goal of providing permanent solutions.
DRT activities may be focused on chronic drug trafficking in specific neighborhoods or apartment communities, illegal game rooms, illicit dump sites and junk yards, sexually oriented businesses, local serial crime, organized gang activity, and homeless/panhandling issues.
Permanent solutions require collaboration and partnerships. DRT builds working partnerships with sheriff’s specialized units, outside law enforcement agencies, county attorney, district attorney, health department, EPA, local charitable and faith based organization, as well as local citizen groups. Such partnerships prove to be powerful, creative, and build community support.
Reactive Patrol Initiative
The District deploys six patrol deputies with two assigned to day shift & four assigned to evening shift to increase reactive law enforcement presence and reduce call hold time. All personnel are supervised by the DRT supervisor who maintains authority to divert all contracted personnel to address serious or chronic problems in real time. In total, the district employs nine Deputies and one Sergeant to protect and serve the community.
Real Time Crime Center
East Aldine Deputies regularly interface with the Sheriff’s Office Real Time Crime Center which assists Deputies on daily operations and investigations with intelligence data and research as situations unfold. This serves to advance investigations at a faster pace and keep operational personnel safe.
The District also:
- Contracts with the Harris County Attorney’s Office to conduct Chapter 125 Nuisance Abatement -Investigations and file suit to remove illicit businesses from the area and pursue derelict property owners who condone or promote illegal activity.
- Advocates for security needs and funding with county, state and national law enforcement and criminal prosecution agencies.
- Places mobile security cameras in key areas of the district to deter theft, vandalism, and illegal dumping.
- Conducts street lighting surveys to ensure that CenterPoint is notified immediately of any outages in public areas. The District has also facilitated the installation of over 500 additional street lights to enhance safety around schools, bus stops, and other areas of concern.
- Coordinates a Bike and ATV Patrol, which provides for enhanced public safety in area parks and commercial corridors.
- Participates in the Texas House District 140 Salvage Yard Task Force, which seeks to combat the proliferation of auto salvage yards in residential areas as well as coordinates inspections of auto salvage yards.
- Maintains aesthetically appealing business environment through a Graffiti Abatement Program, which cleans up graffiti once per week.
- Has organized a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) which are teams of local citizens trained by the Harris County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to assist during local emergencies or disasters until professionals can arrive and take over.
- Supports the Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Explorers Post comprised of East Aldine high school students who have demonstrated an interest in pursuing a career in the field of law enforcement.
A Successful Night Out Against Crime in East Aldine
By Christina Autry
Baker Ripley and Lone Star College teemed with families and first responders alike, all dedicating two evening hours to celebrate East Aldine District’s National Night Out (NNO). October in Texas means an annual opportunity for Texans to “give neighborhood crime and drugs a going-away party,” an event that is celebrated around the United States. Any neighborhood or civic organization is welcome to host their own NNO party, and East Aldine makes sure to go big in support of district safety.
The packed Lone Star College parking lot was my first indication of how significant this event is within the East Aldine community. A bouncy house, games for kids, a taco truck, kids enjoying the activities and smiling adults congregated in front of Lone Star College’s new facility. “This is the first year that Lone Star College has been open for NNO,” says Veronica Sanchez, Director of Services for the East Aldine District. Visitors were able to tour the state-of-the-art building while getting a respite from the warmth of the outdoors.
Lone Star is a component of the master-planned Town Center, a 300,000 sq./ft. “economic development catalyst designed to enhance the skill sets and business opportunities of area residents,” as described by the property owner, East Aldine Management District. Major developments within Town Center include the Baker Ripley campus, the Harris County 911 Call Center, and in the near future: an amphitheater, district offices, kids play areas, and a Joe V’s grocery store.
Just across the pedestrian-friendly street from Lone Star College, the NNO party continued on the Baker Ripley campus. This is the second year that NNO has utilized these beautifully modern facilities for this community event. Booths with local civic organizations and schools lined the pathway beside the buildings, first responders were stationed with their emergency vehicles on display, and public officials chatted with their constituents. Meet and greet opportunities among all parties helped meet the goal of NNO, “to root out crime by developing strong relationships within communities.”
“The purpose is to socialize, and familiarize the community with the people who are serving them,” says Sanchez. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homeland Security SWAT truck proved a huge attraction, as people of all ages climbed inside the massive vehicle for a photo or selfie. Harris County Emergency Corps and officers, the Westfield Fire Department, and EMS came out to support the mission of NNO.
“The event has grown tremendously over the years,” Sanchez reflects. “We’ve gained more partnerships, and more families are coming out and enjoying the activities, while learning about the organizations in our community.”
Because Baker Ripley is a facility dedicated to serving the community, all buildings were open and being used for regularly occurring classes during the NNO event. Visitors were welcome to check out the Chevron Fab Lab, a workshop equipped with specialized tools and materials available for any inventor, entrepreneur, hobbyist or student with a desire to create.
“Baker Ripley has all types of classes for youth and adults, classes that the community has asked for. Whenever there is a need for a class, Baker Ripley finds instructors and figures out how to bring the opportunity to the center,” says Sanchez.
In one of the Baker Ripley buildings, a long line could be seen stretching out of a room full of Halloween costumes that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office was giving away, in partnership with Walmart. Happy children paraded out of the room, costumes in hand (or in the hands of their equally happy parents).
As the community’s biggest advocate, the East Aldine District strives to improve the area, from funding projects such as streetlight installation and trash pick-up, to creating educational and business opportunities that simply did not exist previously. With the 2019 NNO under their belt, the district aims for another year of positive progress, and looks forward to an even bigger National Night Out Against Crime in 2020.