A Houston neighborhood decided to not renew a contract with a constable, and instead got better service for less money from a private security company.
I’ve written in the past about private companies and individuals supplying security for communities that could no longer afford their police departments. We’ve seen this in Oakland, California, Detroit, Clackamas County, Oregon, and even in Mexico with armed residents fending off drug cartels when the police and military weren’t available to help.
This story at Rare.Us shows us something similar in the Houston area: “Texas town sees crime drop by almost two thirds after firing police, hiring private security.”
However, from what is said in the comments, I think Sharpstown, rather than being a city near Houston is actually a neighborhood within Houston. So the Houston PD would still have jurisdiction, I think. And no one was literally fired.
Just as any other kind of socialism would produce shortages, residents of Sharpstown have always felt they needed more than what the Houston PD offered. They were not supplied with the security they wanted. So, for a time they had a contract with the area’s constable’s office. But then they declined to renew that contract and instead contracted a completely private firm, SEAL Security Solutions LLC.
Here is a video of a news story about what the town did:
The point here is that a community was able to hire much better protection at a much cheaper price by getting their security from the private sector. According to an interview at guns.com,
“Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61%” in just 20 months, says James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL. You read that right: Crime dropped 61% in Sharpstown in just over a year and a half.
The reason for their striking success is two-fold, Alexander states. He cites the continuous patrol of SEAL’s officers in their assigned neighborhoods as opposed to the strategy of intermittent presence that the constable embraced. “On a constable patrol contract, it’s either a 70/30 or an 80/20. Meaning they say they patrol your community 70 percent of the time, [while] 30 percent of the time they use for running calls out of your area or writing reports.”
He continues, “The second thing that drastically reduces the crime is that we do directed patrols, meaning we don’t just put an officer out there and say ‘here, go patrol.’ We look at recent crime stats, and we work off of those crime stats. So if we have hotspots in those areas say for that month, we focus and concentrate our efforts around those hotspots.”
When asked to compare traditional law enforcement to the SEAL model, Alexander explains, “Law enforcement officers are trained to be reactive. They’re out there to run calls, they’re running one call to another, so they’re reacting to something that’s already happened. Private security, the way that we train our guys, is more proactive, meaning that we’re in the community proactively patrolling to prevent those crimes.”
Not only is SEAL more successful at crime prevention than traditional law enforcement, they’re cheaper. Sharpstown is saving $200,000 per year over their previous contract with the constable, and they get more patrol officers for less money.
Of course, these patrols aren’t treated like a special class. They are only armed on the basis of the same Second Amendment that protects the right of all citizens to be armed.
Also, according to the video above, they don’t pull over vehicles. What more could you want?