Back in the days before Preston Hollow was incorporated in the Dallas city limits in 1945, it was its own tiny town, complete with a petite police force. But police protection only came to those who paid for it, at a cost of $25 a year of $2.50 a month.

Today, private police protection will cost homeowners a lot more, up to $400 a year, but some neighborhood associations say it’s a worthwhile expense. Enhanced Neighborhood Patrol is a program offered by the Dallas Police Department in which homeowners pay for an off-duty officer to provided added patrols of the neighborhood, in addition to the regular police presence.

It’s a popular program in Preston Hollow, first launched in 2011 with the Northaven Park Neighborhood Association, which was later expanded to include Royal Hills and Park Forest in 2015. It’s made a big difference, if you consider the statistics. “At the end of 2014, crime was down over 75 percent in Northaven Park from when the service was launched — from an average of almost 10 crimes a month to 2.2 crimes a month,” according to the website.

Windsor Park is the latest neighborhood association considering the service. Residents there are invited to learn more about the program during a community meeting on Thursday, Oct. 6, from 6-8 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 7611 Park Lane. ENP officer Mark Lutz will be on hand to answer questions.

Exactly how many hours of patrol a neighborhood gets depends on how much they pay. In Northaven Park, residents pay $240 a year, while Windsor Park is hoping to get at least 150 homeowners to pay $400 annually for the service.

Preston Hollow’s neighborhoods are some of the safest in Dallas, according to a citywide crime map. That’s at least in part because many associations have strong Neighborhood Watch programs, encouraging neighbors to keep an eye out and protect each other.

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