Montrose Patrol Profiles: Officer Aaron Day
In January 2015, Montrose-area apartment complexes began reporting a wave of brazen burglaries. The thieves would break in, steal TVs and other valuables, and escape in their getaway car. Houston Police Department Officer Aaron Day and his partner were assigned to investigate the case in their capacity as members of the Montrose Patrol—a team of off-duty HPD officers employed by the Montrose District for extra neighborhood security.
Officer Day tracked one of the getaway cars back to the rental car company where the thieves had acquired it, and used the information to identify them. They were arrested and charged with burglary of a building.
“I like the instant gratification of being able to help people solve a problem, whether it’s something simple or complex,” he said. “Whatever people need, I’m here to help out.”
Officer Day has been with HPD for 16 years. Raised in Western New York, he attended Buffalo State College before moving to Houston around 2000 and becoming a rookie officer. “I’d always wanted to be a police officer,” he recalled. “I just really enjoy helping people.”
In 2009, after eight years on the force, Officer Day was assigned to the Montrose Storefront. Shortly after, he joined the Montrose Patrol. “It’s basically the same thing we do with HPD,” he explained. “I get calls from local businesses or residents, and I head out there and try to assist them.”
Because the Montrose Patrol’s officers work exclusively in the neighborhood, they can respond to a call faster than regular HPD officers can. “We tell everyone to call our non-emergency number, and we’ll get there before anyone else. We might be there in three minutes. If we’re around the corner, we’ll be there in under a minute.”
Over his eight years with the Montrose Patrol, Officer Day has solved countless robberies. In one case he was able to recover jewelry and a set of golf clubs stolen from a homeowner’s garage. Last September, he and his partner helped chase down and arrest three suspects who had just robbed Houston Press writer Meagan Flynn in broad daylight.
With violent crime in Montrose down significantly in the last few years, Officer Day said the Montrose Patrol is focused on issues like panhandling, public intoxication, trespassing, and car break-ins. He recently arrested five vagrants near Waugh Drive who were threatening pedestrians.
“We encourage businesses to call us if there’s a problem, and we’ll come out and make an arrest,” he said. “If we keep doing that enough, these people will move on.”
As for car break-ins, Officer Day had a few easy tips people can take to protect themselves, like locking the car and putting valuables in the trunk. “Most of the time, thieves are not going to want to break a window to pop the trunk. They want to see something they know they can get. Nine times out of ten, they’ll just walk by.”
To learn more about the Montrose District’s public safety initiatives, visit montrosedistrict.org.