A Kingwood resident raised issues about the Houston Police Department in Kingwood at the Kingwood Service Association (KSA) Public Safety Committee meeting March 13. She said the way a recent incident was handled in Woodspring Forest was unacceptable and wanted to know what could be done about it.

The resident explained she reported suspicious activity by several unidentified males at night in the vicinity of her home. She described how she called the police and when they arrived how dissatisfied she was with their apparent unconcerned attitude and the suspicion that it was just local kids in the area. She pointed out she thought the suspects were still in the area and the officers drove around and could find nothing.

“I made it very clear that they (the suspects) were probably just hiding between two houses,” she said and explained the officers soon left the scene. Later that night at about 4 a.m. she and her husband realized the three males had decided to come back onto the street about two houses down from them.

“We chased them which wasn’t good for me down the street where the gentleman slipped in the mud and left his shoes and got up and ran again,” she said.

The resident explained the police finally came after they had called 911 before they chased the suspects away. The first officer on the scene had to wait for a second unit before she could check the backyard of the residence where the three suspects had been seen. The person came out of the house and said she had heard somebody in her backyard.

“We understand the fact that she (the first officer on the scene) needed to wait for a second unit for her protection to go and look in the backyard. However, it was the fact that this had been going on for some time. We have had a sexual assault in East End (Park) and there’s a murder. I realize this is not a big traumatic incident; however, it is petty crime that is getting very rampant here in Kingwood and we don’t seem to get any type of issue resolved. With these kids you have police officers respond and they’re like: “Oh, they live here or we’re not going to get out of our vehicles to go search for them.” There is no protection whatsoever and that is a big concern for all of us, so I want to know what is it going to take to get adequate coverage in our area? Do we need to have someone from the constable’s office to come and search our area since the Houston Police Department doesn’t seem to have adequate staff to meet our need?” asked the resident.

After a few seconds of silence in the room the resident said, “Well that drew a big round of silence.”

There was in fact a lot about to be said as the Safety Committee and three HPD police officers had heard every word the resident had said.

Chairwoman Denise Krieger of Bear Branch broke the silence of thought and invited the HPD officers in attendance to respond to the resident. Sgt. James Pavlu was the first to speak and asked the resident if she had called the Kingwood Station since the incident to address her concerns.

She said it had been turned over to them.

Pavlu asked for a clarification, “Have you called the station?” he asked, and she answered: “yes.”

Pavlu asked for more clarification, “And who did you speak with?” He asked and she answered, “You know, I don’t know the gentleman’s name.”

Pavlu asked, “Did you speak with a supervisor.” She answered, “It was an African American gentleman in the Kingwood Police Department.”

Pavlu thanked her for bringing her concerns up and asking for help. He explained what needs to be done by anyone who is dissatisfied with the service or treatment they receive from the HPD.

“What you need to do about whatever you are not happy about with the services and you think things should be done differently, then you need to contact the commander of the station, Commander Terry, and let her know what your displeasure is so she can address it with appropriate lieutenants and supervisors. That’s how we learn about the things you have concerns about, said Pavlu.

The resident thanked him for his explanation about what to do and then asked, “Are you aware of the increase in crime with the individuals that are doing burglaries in our area?”

Officer Daniel Von Quintus, who presents the Kingwood crime statistics to the committee on a monthly basis and has reported that overall crime statistics are at their lowest point in Kingwood for the last five years responded.

“I can’t say in that area, but crime has actually gone down in the Kingwood area in things like burglaries of motor vehicles and burglaries. Those are in the Kingwood stats that we look at. Most of the criminals that we catch doing crimes like that do live in the Kingwood area. I know that because our TAC Unit (HPD Tactical Control Unit) recently arrested five people from South Woodland Hills that were vandalizing cars and stuff.”

Von Quintus re-emphasized the importance of reporting unsatisfactory service to Terry. He also provided a good way to get problems to the appropriate people.

“You can always fill out an Alert Slip to the Houston Police Department. That email comes to me. You go online to houstontx.gov/police/alert_slip/ and fill one out. I get the email and I give it to the appropriate shift, so say the criminals are coming around 3 or 4 a.m., I will give it to the officer in charge of that beat and it is their responsibility to look for the people doing that kind of stuff,” said Von Quintus.

Following the discussion, Pavlu met with the resident to get full and specific details about the incident that had caused her to come to the meeting and report her concern.

The next KSA Public Safety Committee Meeting will be Wednesday, April 10, at 7p.m. in the South Woodland Hills Community Room, 2038 Shadow Rock. The public is invited to attend.

Bruce Olson
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I have been married since 1970 to Kerry, my best friend and a great Australian woman. I served and survived Vietnam in the U.S. Air Force. I fought forest fires in the summer while in college, where I earned a B.A. in economics from Oklahoma State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. I retired from Continental Airlines. I have a son and two granddaughters in Kingwood, and a daughter and two grandsons on a farm near Mazabuka, Zambia. I am now enjoying life as a grandfather, Tribune correspondent and Humble ISD guest teacher when not traveling to Zambia or Australia.