FORNEY, Texas — Clements Ranch is the latest master-planned community to ink a deal with the Kaufman County Precinct 2 Constable's Office for extra patrol services.
The deal aims to curtail crime in one of Texas' fastest growing rural counties.
The Clements Ranch contract, approved by the Kaufman County Commissioners' Court on Wednesday morning, is similar to a previously approved contract for the Windmill Farms community to add extra patrol services, or patrol services in addition to law enforcement services and responsibilities already provided by the constable's office and the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office.
In addition to the Clements Ranch contract, commissioners approved an additional 20 hours of extra patrol services under the Windmill Farms contract – bringing the total contracted hours to 80 hours a week. Those hours will translate to two full-time deputies.
Clements Ranch is a 247-acre master planned community which proposes building 950 homes along Lake Ray Hubbard Boulevard in western Kaufman County, just outside the city limits of Forney and south of the Travis Ranch community.
The Clements Ranch contract initially calls for 40 hours of extra patrol services with plans to add more hours as the community develops – eventually allowing for 24-7 patrol services, according to Precinct 2 Constable Jason Johnson.
Clements Ranch will also donate the funds for a new patrol vehicle and necessary equipment, at no cost to the county.
During the meeting, Precinct 2 Commissioner Skeet Phillips and Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood echoed their support for the contract in so much as it provided for additional police presence with no financial impact on the county.
Concerns were raised about liability of the contract and the appearance the county may be in the business of private security.
The county's attorney, Karen Badgley, said the liability on the county remains the same as the liabilities of current deputies.
The Heartland community, in between Forney and Crandall, has had a similar contract with the Crandall Police Department and the Travis Ranch community, just north of the Clements Ranch development, is also considering an extra patrol service contract.