HOA's security change may bring more change than expected

October 2, 2012 3:24:16 PM PDT
A change of guard for a neighborhood in Fort Bend County could have more fallout than residents ever expected.

The Cinco Ranch Homeowner's Association is switching from contracted deputies to contracted constables, and they're not happy with the way the sheriff appears to be taking the news. In fact they're worried it could impact the safety of their neighborhood.

It all comes down to an email obtained by Eyewitness News that the Fort Bend County sheriff admits he wrote. Members of the Cinco Ranch HOA believe that the sheriff's words were clearly in retaliation, but the sheriff's department says this was all a misunderstanding.

It's a sprawling upscale subdivision in Precinct 3 with hundreds of residents living in the Cinco Ranch neighborhood.

"We have a lot of kids that stay in this neighborhood," one resident told us.

On any given day in Precinct 3, you'll find eight Fort Bend County sheriff's deputies on the streets. Three of them patrolling the entire area and five of them hired by Cinco Ranch for extra security. But that will soon change.

You see, the Cinco Ranch Homeowners Association has decided to cut three of its five hired deputies and use constables instead. Some residents don't see a problem with that.

"I was security in my area," another resident said.

But apparently, the Fort Bend County sheriff does and we found out about it in an email obtained exclusively by Eyewitness News. Sheriff Milton Wright admits to writing this email and saying cutting deputies and hiring constables will mean a delay in response time. Residents say though that's alarming, they have the biggest problem with what the decision to remove the three regularly assigned deputies paid by tax dollars.

In the letter, Wright says "When we have the change over, I will be moving 2 of the 3 to other precincts which will dramatically effect the response time."

Some Cinco Ranch residents question if this is retaliation for the HOA cutting deputies.

"I wouldn't want them to take anything away. I hope that the email was a mistake," the resident told us.

After we asked about the email, the sheriff department told us there was a miscommunication, a mix-up and the three normal precinct patrol deputies will not be removed.

Wright was out of town Tuesday, but a Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office captain who works in the patrol division insists the sheriff made a mistake in his numbers. He says there's no way to have one patrol unit in that large geographical area.


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