Myth – I don’t need to join GPRA Security Program. My taxes pay for adequate police coverage.
Fact – Montgomery County’s budget covers not only the Woodlands, but the entirety of Montgomery County. This includes ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, insurance, liability coverage, search and rescue, the coalition against sex trafficking, jail facilities, and all law enforcement activities (arrests, search warrants, investigation of active cases, court appearances and trials, etc.) in addition to patrolling neighborhoods. Each village (ours being Grogan’s Mill, which has ~14,000 residents, more than 3,500 homes and six apartment complexes, 12 parks, a resort and conference center, two golf courses, one swimming pool, multiple tennis courts and three miles of bike trails) is assigned two sheriff’s deputies per day, and The Woodlands pays for their overtime. The GPRA Security Program dues double the coverage we would normally get and ensures a much faster response time when deputies are on duty.
Myth – I don’t need to join because there are enough other residents paying dues to cover it.
Fact – The Security Program runs entirely on members’ fees, and it is an annual program. We currently contract for about 140 patrol hours per month. If we do not receive enough paid memberships, we are forced to reduce patrol hours in the neighborhood.
Myth – My home camera system is all I need to be safe.
Fact – While home monitoring and security systems do help to deter crime and aid law enforcement in identifying criminals, they do not patrol, protect, or arrest people. Having Deputies on patrol in Grogan’s Point ensures a much faster response to reports of criminal activity at your home. Given law enforcement staffing in the Woodlands, your response time can be less than two minutes versus fifteen or more, when we have a deputy on duty.
Myth – The speed signs don’t help
Fact – The speed signs have been proven to lower the speed of traffic. The data obtained from the signs is provided to the GPRA Security Constable Liaison for analysis and to help develop data to identify problem areas and times of the day in which speeding is the most likely. They have been very effective since their installation and serve as a visual reminder of your rate of speed.
Myth – No-one uses the video recordings.
Fact – The cameras serve as a deterrent to crime, and video footage is provided only to law enforcement upon their request for ongoing investigations.
Myth - The current camera system is getting old and technologically outdated.
Fact – Both true and false. Technology changes rapidly. The license plate camera works and records. The other cameras work, but due to issues with underground wiring getting wet, they do not connect to the recorder and they are aging out (four years is a long time for an outdoor camera exposed to the elements). We are in discussion with companies regarding the replacement of our cameras, maintenance and service. We are looking at companies that record to the "cloud" and we own 100% of our data.
Myth – The money donated to the Security equipment fund is misused
Fact – Money donated for security equipment is used only for the upkeep of cameras and speed signs. If we do not receive enough funding, repairs are not made. Repairs average about $3000 per year.
Myth – Security can pull video and provide it to individuals or use it to identify vehicles
Fact – The cameras are in public space. The only entities who can use this footage are sworn law enforcement operating in their official capacity. Our individual rights to privacy stand. We do not access video unless sworn law enforcement with an active case makes a request for it.
Contact the Security Committee with any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.