This FAQ has been assembled by Patrick Kelly of the DCFWSD 1B Board. This page is my own work and does not necessarily represent the views of the 1B board. If I’ve missed anything, please feel free to ask in the comments section and I’ll update the FAQ as appropriate.
Q. Are the people driving the patrol vehicle actually police officers?
A. Yes. They are off duty officers from various cities around the metroplex.
Q. What are the hours of patrol?
A. The patrol will be 24/7 once completely staffed with a 98% fill rate. This mean there may be shifts occasionally that do not get filled, but 24/7 is the goal.
Q. How many patrol cars are there?
A. There is one patrol car at present.
Q. How many officers does it take to cover all the shifts needed for 24/7 coverage?
A. It will take about 30 officers to fill all the shifts.
Q. Who pays for the patrol?
A. The patrol is paid for by the residents of Castle Hills.
Q. How much does the patrol cost?
A. Cost of patrol is $40/hr making the total cost of patrol about $400,000 / year.
Q. Do we pay for patrol shifts that don’t happen for some reason?
Q. How much is that per home in CH?
A. There are about 4,000 homes in CH so the cost works out to about $8 per month per house.
Q. Will they patrol areas like Target and Kroger?
A. No. The patrol is for homes only.
Q. Will they patrol house that are under construction?
A. No, phase under construction are not part of the active patrol pattern. However, it is possible the patrol may come across a crime being committed in a phase that is under construction while passing patrolling homes. The officer on patrol has discretion on how to handle that situation.
Q. Who approved this expense?
A. Castle Hills is governed by a series of 8 water districts 1A – 1H. 1A has no homes and will never have any homes. 1H does not have homes at this time. The patrol is authorized by the remaining six districts 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, and 1G.
Q. Districts have varying numbers of homes. Does this mean different districts pay different amounts for the patrol?
A. Yes. Districts are charge based on the number of homes in they contain.
Q. Will the patrol issue speeding tickets?
A. No. However, police officers have the authority and responsibility to enforce state and county regulations including regulations around public safety. Therefore, 34 in a 25 may get you a friendly reminder to slow down via a flash of the headlights, but 45 in the Castle Hills Elementary school zone during drop off may result in some sort charge more serious than speeding.
Q. I thought we had police patrol through Lewisville?
A. No. The contract with Lewisville is for response only. Any other patrol is based on a “best efforts” by LVPD.
Q. Why didn’t we contract for this service with Lewisville? Why hire officers from other cities?
A. Out first choice was to contract with Lewisville and actually had an agreement with Lewisville to provide enhanced patrol. However, LVPD has been short staffed for quite a while and they were unable to meet the needs of Castle Hills.
Q. What is the hourly rate for patrol?
A. The hourly rate is $40. This is less than ½ of the $90/hr Lewisville charges us when Lewisville PD is in in the neighborhood.
Q. Does this mean Lewisville Police will no longer be in the neighborhood?
A. No. The response only contract with LVPD remains in effect.
Q. Is an off duty officer the same as an on duty officer?
A. In Texas off duty officers maintain all the rights and authority as when they are on duty.
Q. Can a patrol officer make an arrest?
A. Yes. However, we have no jails in Castle Hills. As such, the cleaner solution is to detain for LVPD.
Q. Are the officers armed?
A. Yes. Officers carry their service revolver, cuffs, and badge while patrolling.
Q. Are the offices in uniform?
A. Yes. They will be wearing their BDUs (Battle Dress Uniforms).
Q. Golf carts?
A. The legal counsel of Castle Hills has interpret the golf cart regulations in such a way as to all golf carts on the streets of CH. There is no age limit stated in the regulations. However, much like speeders, people operating golf carts in an unsafe manner may find themselves dealing with a breach of public safety issue that the officers can enforce at their discretion.
Q. How do we know they are actually patrolling?
A. The patrol cars are monitored with GPS.
Q. How much time will be spent in each district?
A. At the heart of this question is really “How do I know I’m getting value for the money I’m paying?” There are two mechanisms. First, there is a subcommittee comprised of 1 member from each board that meets with the patrol manager monthly. These are your representatives and, just like everywhere else, they are there on your behalf. It’s their job to make sure the patrol is working for your district and the neighborhood as a whole. Second, we’re working on a more empirical report based on GPS data that will show time spent in each district. That report will be made available on this (1B) website when completed. The goal is to update this report monthly. All that said, how to setup an effective police patrol is best left to the professionals. They have discretion to modify patrol patterns based on hot spots in the neighborhood. This means that for any given time slice – hour, day, week, or maybe even month – we may see one district or another with a little more or less patrol. However, over the long term, patrol should even out across the districts and the reports will help to ensure a fair distribution of patrol resources.