Sharpstown, a Houston suburb, tired of property crimes and inadequate police service in their community, so the Sharpstown Civic Association got together and entered into an agreement with private security firm SEAL Security Texas to patrol its streets.
What do you think happened? Even though the SEAL patrols aren’t authorized to make traffic stops, they do have arrest power – and crime has decreased. Burglaries have fallen by almost half, and the ubiquity of the additional patrol units has even led to violent crime being halted while in progress.
From KHOU News:
The direct link of accountability between the customer (Sharpstown) and the service provider (SEAL Security) has, so far, ensured quality protection without residents fearing the sort of Constitutional violations and abuses that come with traditional police officers’ imperviousness to reprimand, firing or prosecution. The contract with SEAL is approaching the one-year mark, and residents are pleased. After all, they have the option to “fire” the security firm if they don’t see results.
Formerly, the civic association had contracted with the constable’s office for a deputy to patrol the area. The SEAL contract, however, ups that number to three or four officers at once, even though it’s costing the association about half what the constable’s office charged.