Have you seen the Woodlands roving patrol.….roving lately? Chances are you haven’t. Most sightings have been of them sitting in their patrol cars eating or talking on the phone under the shade of one of our six clubhouses. According to BSO, most of the crimes in the Woodlands have been to personal property including homes and vehicles. At this time, not one of our clubhouses have been burglarized.
Last month while patrolling in our Woodlands COPS car (which in case you don’t know is our volunteer Citizens Observation Patrol) both myself and neighbor Richard Gelman were in desperate need of our roving patrol. We had just spoken to the officer who was parked at the Section 5 Clubhouse. We left him and then proceeded on to the Commercial Blvd entrance of Banyan Lane where we saw two suspicious looking men with an empty backpack walking around checking out the residences. Because we are not allowed to confront suspects or even follow them, we called the officer who did not answer our Woodlands-Issued phone. We left him a message while still watching the suspects, growing more concerned after noticing that they did they seem to live here nor were they waiting to catch a bus. Richard called the Roving Patrol again and he finally answered. Richard explained the situation, gave him the address and told him to come immediately. We knew it wouldn’t take long as he was nearby in Section 5. Ten minutes went by and the suspects dodged inside the development from Commercial Blvd where we lost them. Finally, the officer came by and we asked him what took so long. He said he accidentally went to the Sago Palm entrance. We were floored as we couldn’t believe that he got the entrance wrong when we clearly gave him the address. The officer looked for the suspects and grew concerned as well because he said there was a robbery across the street from the Woodlands that very morning.
According to Steve Culotta, Manager for Ambassador Community Management, the Woodlands has paid Broward Sherriff’s Office $175,000 through the month of November. How this breaks down is that our Roving Patrol gets $35 an hour so this amount is equal to roughly about 5,000 hours. While doing auditing for the Woodlands, Steve has found questionable outbound calls on the Woodlands-issued cell phone. For instance, one call was to Tennessee which lasted over 30 minutes. He did some research and found it wasn’t even related to a residential issue.
Today while walking, I noticed the Roving Patrol sitting at the Section 6 clubhouse. I went by and it looked like he was deep into some sort of paperwork. Thirty minutes later I passed by again and noticed he was still sitting there. I walked over to the car and looked down to see what he was doing where I noticed he was doing his homework, complete with a textbook and highlighter. I asked him how he was and to please make sure other parts of the Woodlands get some coverage. He looked at me told me he had it covered. I left and wondered, how can you cover the Woodlands if you are studying in your patrol car?
I must add that most of these BSO officers are wonderful and friendly people. They will help you immediately if you call with a concern. The problem is they are rotated and we may get inefficient ones who don’t take our security seriously. The Woodlands HOA and residents need to stay on top of our biggest budget item and make sure we are getting our money’s worth.
- Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.