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Communications March 14, 2019
Bandits should think twice before putting up signs at an intersection or dumping an old couch on a dead-end road. A new Precinct 4 partnership with the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office is tackling illegal dumping and bandit-sign hot spots by taking to the streets.
“We’ve assigned constables who are constantly on the look-out and have already made arrests,” says Harris County Precinct 4 Assistant Chief Kenneth Key.
The new collaboration between Precinct 4 and the Precinct 4 Constable’s Environmental Crimes Unit allows Precinct 4 Road & Bridge crews to work directly with constables to deter placement of bandit signs and illegal dumping in various hot spots. These hot spots often include dead-end roads, barricaded streets, and dark, undeveloped property. In part, thanks to these efforts, the Constable’s Office is also able to build cases against repeat violators and offenders.
“Working with Precinct 4 has been good because we have a lot more eyes helping us look for violators and more assistance gathering illegal bandit signs,” Key says.
Precinct 4 Road & Bridge crews appreciate the help, too.
“Our guys go out there every single day and pick up bandit signs. Before you know it, the signs are right back up,” says Landon Reed, Precinct 4 assistant director of Community Outreach.
Precinct 4 Road & Bridge General Superintendent Freddie Jebousek has encountered everything from couches and mattresses to computer monitors and tricycles.
“I could tell you stories about what we’ve found inside storm drains. Large items can block water flow and lead to flooded roadways, so we’re glad to be a part of these proactive measures.”
Constable Mark Herman implemented the Environmental Crimes Unit in 2017 to combat illegally posted bandit signs as well as the dumping of trash, tires, liquids, and other solid waste in northern Harris County.
While the partnership between Precinct 4 and the Precinct 4 Constable’s Environmental Crimes Unit is still in the early stage, it has already proven successful. Violators have been caught dumping trash and putting up bandit signs. The offense can lead to fines, jail time, or both. Tickets range from $200 to thousands of dollars, depending on the offense and property damage.
“We could do our job so much more efficiently and effectively if we didn’t have to move water-soaked couches or mattresses. It takes a lot of taxpayer dollars to clean up these abandoned items,” Jebousek says.
Precinct 4 residents can bring large unwanted items to 3603 Spring Cypress Road in Spring free of charge. The dumpster is open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We’re trying to save taxpayers money and keep the public safe,” says Reed.
For more information, contact Harris County Precinct 4’s Community Assistance Department at www.hcp4.net/CAD or 832-927-4444.