District Chairman Homer Clark, left; Ark of Safety owner Danny Lovelady

The 5 Corners Improvement District has hired a new private security team to enhance public safety along business corridors throughout the area.

The district board approved a contract with Ark of Safety Security Solutions to commence round-the-clock patrols of commercial properties starting Monday, April 24, 2023.

At least one security officer will be on duty at all times and will respond to calls to 832-919-4247, a number reserved solely for calls concerning properties inside district boundaries, according to Ark of Safety owner Danny Lovelady.

To be clear, all emergencies should be reported directly to 9-1-1. The Ark of Safety phone number is for reports of loitering, trespassing, certain types of suspicious activities and other such issues.

Under state law, private security personnel are allowed to carry firearms and handcuffs and are allowed to detain individuals suspected of criminal activity until police or other law enforcement officers arrive at the scene.

Lovelady said his team will use cellphone video and QR codes (quick response information codes that link to websites) to document its patrol activity.

Other Ark of Safety clients include the historic Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church of Houston and sites in other Texas cities. The company employs a total of 51 people.

Lovelady served as a U.S. Army colonel and later as a Federal Emergency Management Agency emergency response coordinator.

Vernon N. Smith, the 5 Corners board member who chairs the district’s public safety committee, led the effort that resulted in the new security contract going to Ark of Safety.

In related public safety updates, District Chairman Homer Clark reported to the board on April 21 that portable cameras deployed at former and current illegal dumping sites in the district have helped deter or catch illegal dumpers. Funded by the district, the cameras identify dumpers’ vehicles and other evidence that often leads to criminal charges being filed against them.

The district, which is funded by annual assessments on commercial property owners, also continues to pay for removal of graffiti and litter along business corridors.