District Welcomes Officer Pereira to Park Patrol

The next time you visit Wussow Park, stop by and say hello to Officer Roy Pereira. He is a member of the Spartan Security Services team and North Houston District’s park patrol officer.

Originally from Murtosa, Portugal, Pereira served in the United States Army, specializing in explosive detonation, heavy demolition and weapons, which sharpened his precision and required quick-thinking and calmness in high-stress situations.

His career began at the Olympia Trails Bus Company in New Jersey. Under his leadership, the company transformed into one of the most requested charter bus companies in New Jersey and was known for its stellar customer service.

His commitment to providing excellent service extended to his time in retail. Starting as a sales associate at Home Depot, he was quickly promoted to department head and then to the safety and loss prevention team. Now Pereira brings his passion for others and boots-on-the-ground experience to the North Houston District.

“Pereira’s diverse career experiences will be a huge asset as he interacts with our park patrons,” said District Public Safety Director Tracy Harrison.

Welcome, Officer Pereira!

District Invites Area Families to National Night Out

“National Night Out is a fun and interactive way for our families to meet neighbors and learn how we can all work together in creating safer neighborhoods,” said Tracy Harrison, the District’s public safety director. “I’m excited about the response from our apartment communities and law enforcement to team up and bring this event to Wussow Park. Families will be able to walk to the park, enjoy the activities and learn about crime prevention,” she added.

The event will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4 between 6 and 8 p.m. Parking is extremely limited, so families in the surrounding communities are encouraged to walk over for the event.

For more information contact the Greenspoint District at 281-874-2131.

Greenspoint District Initiates New Task Force to Build Relationships, Continue Focus on Safety

With a focus on visibility and increase partnership between law enforcement and the people who live and work in the area, the District has launched a new program with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department. 

“Our Harris County Task Force gives us a chance to focus on deterring and preventing crime,” said Tracy Harrison, public safety director for the Greenspoint District. “These deputies were hand-selected for their work ethic, teamwork and proven ability to build relationships in the neighborhood they serve. Since most crime in this area is against property and not people, this group can really help engage the community in proven crime prevention practices,” she added.

As a program provided by the Greenspoint District, the new task force does not take the place of law enforcement services provided by the Houston Police Department and Harris County. Rather, it builds on their work by providing a team that doesn’t respond to calls for service, which allows time to target specific concerns and for outreach work with businesses and residents.

For more than two decades, the Greenspoint District has used collaboration as a tool to care for the needs of its diverse community.

“Everyone has a responsibility when it comes to safety in the community,” added district president, Greg Simpson. “This organization has a long history of building partnerships across organizations and communities to address citywide concerns, like crime. We increased our public safety budget this year to invest in programs like this that support our mission of creating an appealing, safe, accessible and green activity center,” he said.

Seven deputies are assigned to the team that is housed at the Greenspoint Public Safety Center at Greenspoint Mall, which was also established as a result of district partnerships. In addition to increasing awareness on ways to increase safety, the task force will focus on initiatives related to burglary and theft, which are typically the top crimes in major activity centers like Greenspoint.

Greens Bayou Trail Closure Part of Larger Effort to Reduce Flooding

Over ten years of efforts by representatives from the Greenspoint District are coming to fruition with the start of construction on this project.

“The Greenspoint District first initiated the Greens Bayou Task Force in 2002 as a forum to allow property owners and stakeholders to come together with HCFCD and discuss the need for flood control projects following the devastation created by Tropical Storm Allison in 2001,” said Bart Baker, chief operating officer, Greenspoint District.

Baker, who manages the Operations, Planning and Infrastructure department for the District, explained that stormwater detention basins reduce flooding risks and damages during heavy rain events by safely storing excess floodwater and slowly releasing it back to the bayou when the threat of flooding has passed. “We’re glad to see our efforts finally coming together with the construction of the two new stormwater detention basins,” he added.

The portion of the trail that will be closed to pedestrians is on the north bank of Greens Bayou, between Greens Road and Knobcrest Drive. The trail on the south bank of Greens Bayou will remain open to pedestrian traffic throughout the construction project. The segment connects to the trails at Thomas R. Wussow Park, located at 500 Greens Road. Trail users are urged to utilize the outer banks on the Greens Road bridges (eastbound and westbound) to move from the north bank trail to the south bank trail.

Excavators, dump trucks, and other sizeable equipment will use the north side of the bayou to move material on and off the basin site, so for safety reasons the HCFCD contractor stresses the importance for there to be absolutely no pedestrian access to that side of the bayou. HCFCD also asks travelers in that area to be mindful of truck traffic entering and exiting the site onto the Interstate 45 northbound feeder road, north of Greens Road.

For more information, questions or comments about these projects, please call the Flood Control District’s Project and Study Information Line, which is monitored daily, at 713-684-4040 or email them. To sign up for regular project updates, click here.

Greenspoint Hoops & Heroes – A Slam Dunk

Greenspoint Hoops & Heroes officially kicked off on Aug. 13 at the Biscayne at Cityview apartments. Representatives from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston Fire Department, U.S. Army and S.E.A.L. Security Solutions participated, and over 75 children came out for the event. Pro Court portable basketball hoops were provided as well as smaller, carnival-like basketball and inflatable games. The management staff at Biscayne provided hot dogs. water, and popsicles, and the Greenspoint District handed out t-shirts to the participants. The Greenspoint heroes and children spent the afternoon interacting and playing basketball. The sense of community did not stop when the event was over. The children stayed to help clean up trash. Some of the older kids assisted in loading the basketball gear into the waiting truck to be taken to storage.

The goals of the Hoops & Heroes program are five-fold”

  • Address concerns and needs in the community by working with apartment managers and property owners
  • Provide positive role models
  • Develop communication, trust, and respect for law enforcement
  • Provide equipment to facilitate healthy activities
  • Offer information and handouts to encourage a healthy lifestyle

The mission of the program is simple: to establish and provide positive role models for our youth to plant the seed of wanting to achieve success in life and for a future.

Steve Moore, the owner of Biscayne at Cityview, said, “When people start to connect with each other, and they start to care for each other, they start to feel as sense of community. That is the nirvana, that is the ultimate way to run a property like this where everybody wins.”

Greenspoint District Public Safety Director Tracy Harrison hopes to recruit more organizations to participate and to reach more children and families is more communities.

“Our youth is our future, and we must create tomorrow’s leaders through trusts and respect. The Greenspoint District is committed to community involvement and wished to provide a hands-on approach by implementing a program that allows an open line of communication and trust between the residents and the community. The idea is to promote positivity by providing exemplary role models and leadership. This can be achieved by engaging in an old-fashioned community outreach to the youth through engaging in physical activities, providing healthy choices, and breaking down the barriers that exist in communication today with the law enforcement,” she said.

Harrison is very happy with the first Greenspoint Hoops & Heroes event.

“The event was a success with a good turnout. The youth loved interacting with our Heroes in Greenspoint,” she said.

For a slideshow of the festivities at Biscayne at Cityview, check out the District’s Facebook page.

This story originally ran in the September edition of our general Greenspoint newsletter which features news about District amenities, attractions and activities. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here

Northpark Apartments Earn Blue Star Designation from the Houston Police Department

The Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Blue Star Program is an innovative crime prevention program designed to help reduce the opportunity for crime to occur to raise awareness of public safety issues in multi-family communities among apartment managers, owners and residents. The program seeks to promote a safer and cleaner community with a higher quality of life for residents.

Northpark Apartments, located at 90 Northpoint Drive in the Greenspoint District, is the area’s first Blue Star designated apartment community. Communities only receive a Blue Star designation after completing three phases of the program as implemented by HPD’s Apartment Enforcement Unit and meeting the minimum standards required for certification.

The management team at Northpark Apartments met the Phase One requirements by completing eight hours of training for property owners, managers, leasing staff and other management personnel. Phase Two included a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) inspection and follow up to ensure issues identified in the inspection were remedied. Finally, the complex hosted a “Safety Social” event as Phase Three to increase awareness and educate residents on safety best practices.

The Greenspoint District provides Blue Star communities with several incentives, including a custom-designed sign recognizing the complex for outstanding crime prevention concepts, in addition to HPD’s two Blue Star signs. The District also pays the RCR subscription costs for these communities. RCR is a program which allows apartment managers to run credit and background checks on potential tenants in order to screen for possible red flags before allowing them to rent a unit on their property. Lastly, all Blue Star certified communities located in the District are featured on the District’s website so that potential tenants can better find those properties when looking for a place to call home.

Northpark Apartments received the new Greenspoint District Blue Star Certification recognition sign at the District’s Apartment Summit on Jan. 28. Stay tuned to the District’s newsletter and Facebook for updates when the sign in installed.

For more information on the Blue Star Program, the HPD’s Apartment Enforcement Unit can be reached at 713-309-3911 or by visiting their website.

This story originally ran in the February edition of our general Greenspoint newsletter, which features news about District amenities, attractions and activities. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here

Key Projects Enhanced the District in 2014, More Planned in 2015

Many key projects were completed in the District in 2014. From Planning, Operations and Infrastructure to Public Safety, Economic Development and Marketing and Public Affairs, staff in all departments were hard at work throughout the year.

Sam Houston Parkway was improved between I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Additional lanes were added both east and westbound on the bridge over Imperial Valley to aid with cars both entering and exiting the roadway. In addition to the extra lanes on the main thoroughfare, the frontage roads also were updated.

Spring Recreation Area, including the country’s largest skate park and Dylan Park, a park without bounds, officially opened in August. More than 7,000 skaters from all around the world have already registered to use the park’s facilities. Dylan Park caters to individuals who are sight and hearing impaired as well as those who are autistic and wheelchair-bound.

The two-and-a-half mile Greenspoint Greens Bayou trail, which was funded by the Statewide Transportation Enhancement Program (STEP), began construction in August and is scheduled to be complete by January 2015. When complete, the trail will intersect with existing trails throughout the District and will run north of Greens Road to Knobcrest on both sides and east from Imperial Valley to Bradfield Road.

A new forest-themed playground transformed the sprayground at Wussow Park. The new equipment provides an ideal place for climbing, scaling and dynamic play.

Operation Greensweep continued to foster contacts, spread awareness, and make law enforcement officials more visible in order to make Greenspoint safer for everyone living and working in the area. As part of the program put in place by the District’s Public Safety department, 2,003 business and citizen contacts were established, 3,000 auto burglary and theft prevention report cards were issued, 149 Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design inspections were peformed and 3,329 Crime Prevention Pamphlets were distributed to residents. Also, 377 instances of graffiti were reported and removed, as well as 3,563 bandit signs were identified and removed.

The District’s Marketing and Public Affairs team shared the good news of Greenspoint, not only locally, but around the world. Headlines appeared in the Houston Chronicle, Houston Business Journal, the UK’s Press and Journal and several other publications. The team also led a flurry of social media activity and produced more than a dozen events to promote Greenspoint’s favorable business climate.

The Economic Development team also produced tremendous results. The team was actively involved in 62 new business attraction projects in 2014 involving both foreign and domestic companies. The District won 37 projects. Notable companies that made announcements about locating in Greenspoint in 2014 include: Data Foundry, QuEST Global, Tulsa Welding School, Downhole Products, Victory Packaging, ABS and Grocers Supply.

As 2015 gets underway, staff at the District aren’t slowing down. Several exciting projects are planned in each department.

Construction is expected to begin on Jack Drake Park in late 2015 following the completion of the Greenspoint Greens Bayou trail, which will run through the heart of the new park. The District worked with Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition to secure a grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife for $100,000 to help in the development of this new park, which is named in honor of the District’s first president.

The public safety department is working with S.E.A.L. Security Solutions to implement a more highly visible patrol of the public areas throughout the District. Although S.E.A.L. began working with the District last February, a more directed patrol with additional interaction with local law enforcement and increased relationship building between citizen and business owners in the District is planned for 2015. The goal is to increase the comfort of residents, employees and business owners who live and work in the District.

Economic Development is gearing up for a busy year with a specific focus on meeting with companies both new and established in the District as part of “Growing Greenspoint,” the District’s business retention and expansion program. The department also will be evaluating qualified projects through an EB-5 study, EB-5 refers to projects that have been funded by approved foreign nationals looking to establish residency in the U.S.

The District’s Marketing and Public Affairs department is refocusing the District’s brand and image in order to better promote the positive aspects of the District not just in Greenspoint, but in Houston, the U.S. and around the world.

Stay tuned in 2015 as we announce more exciting projects and updates on our ongoing initiatives.

This story originally ran in the December 2014 edition of our general Greenspoint newsletter which features news about District amenities, attractions and activities. To subscribe to this bimonthly newsletter, click here

Officers Work to Protect Our Parks

Walking around one of the Greenspoint District’s many parks or strolling down the connecting trails, you might have come in contact with an officer on a bicycle or a security guard accompanied by a canine. These officers are employed by the District and work tirelessly to ensure safety and peace of mind for everyone enjoying the area amenities.

Our bike patrol officers split their time between patrolling for the District and working as Harris County Sheriffs. The bicycle patrol officers are charged with providing a high visibility patrol through our parks and trails system, commercial retail, restaurants and multi-family properties. At the request of local property owners, these officers also might perform burglary of motor vehicle report card inspections to help educate vehicle owners on how they can protect their vehicle and belongings from theft.

Private security officers from S.E.A.L. Security Solutions also help patrol and secure the District’s Parks. S.E.A.L. was commissioned by the District in February to perform high visibility patrol, either on foot or in a marked vehicle. These officers are all accompanied by a canine to help them patrol. They also visit local businesses to develop relationships with residents, employees and business owners, all while helping to suppress criminal activity.

While our officers do their best to ensure the safety of everyone working or living in the District, there are simple steps that you can take to better protect yourself:

  • Walk places with friends, rather than alone
  • Stay on a well-traveled street or trail and avoid short cuts
  • If you think you’re being followed, switch directions or cross the street. If they’re still there, move quickly to a store, restaurant or busy area and ask for help.
  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings
  • Avoid areas with limited visibility or poor lighting
  • Wear shoes that will allow you to walk quickly, in the event of any emergency

Following these simple steps will ensure that you can enjoy a worry-free experience no matter where you travel, in the District or out; however, the bike patrol and security officers are available should you ever need them. The next time you are out and about in the District and you come across one of the officers, stop and say hello. They are here to help.