(HOUSTON, TX, Sept. 20) – During the hot, 100 degree summer days, members of the North Houston District Public Safety Task Force made multiple rounds by foot at apartment communities along Northborough Drive in Greenspoint as part of the Northborough Initiative Knock and Talks. The initiative, launched by the North Houston Management District in May, is a proactive approach to reducing and preventing crime in the area.
In January, the Houston Police Department (HPD), opened a new police station in the North Houston District at 100 Glenborough Drive as a partnership with the North Houston District. Known as the North Belt Division, the station is the hub for officers covering Willowbrook, Greenspoint and Bush Intercontinental Airport areas. Consequently, crime in the area has decreased 13 percent with an additional 11 percent decrease since bike patrol was implemented according to HPD.
“The progress that our law enforcement partners have made in the district in recent months is noticeable,” says Tracy Harrison, public safety director, North Houston District. “We plan on doing more to keep the area even safer,” says Harrison.
In a crime analysis completed in 2017, it was determined that the area in which most crimes occurred in the North Houston District (Greens Crossing, Greenspoint, Pinto Business Park and Airline Corridor) took place on Northborough Drive. Northborough Drive is located in the northwest quadrant of the district with approximately eight apartment communities.
One of the ways in which the Northborough Initiative task force hopes to make a positive impact is through active engagement with residents.
The task force includes members from HPD, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, City of Houston Legal Department, Houston Apartment Association, Villa Serena Communities, Texas Excel Management Properties, The Thicket Apartments and community partners such as the Lighthouse Church and Ambassadors for Christ.
“For our area, this collaboration to push out crime together is unprecedented,” says Harrison.
The goals of the Northborough Initiative are to:
1. review crimes for each property and the number of calls for service, while focusing on crime trends and patterns
2. secure property manager/supervisor for the long term to better enforce the highest operating standards
3. train apartment staff on how to implement the best screening methods in leasing to avoid delinquent tenants
4. engage with every resident on Northborough Drive through “knocks and talks” to assess public safety needs and improve dialogue between residents and law enforcement
5. facilitate apartment property managers trainings on how to deal with common challenges
6. provide residents a safe environment with access to counseling, support, and mentorship within walking distance and at no cost.
To date, six apartment communities have been visited, and 1,000 apartment unit encounter attempts were made resulting in 350 actual resident interactions.
During April through June, service calls for the area dropped approximately 40 percent.
“We still have more work to do, but we need every apartment community’s cooperation in order to make bigger progress,” says Steve Moore, owner, Villa Serena Communities.