The City of Houston, not unlike all major cities in our nation, has experienced an increase in violent crime as theCOVID-19 pandemic tightened its grip on our city, state and nation. Other factors contributing to the nationwide spike in violent crime include widespread social anxiety, economic uncertainty, mental health concerns, the increased presence of illegally owned firearms, and a strained court system plagued by criminal case backlogs that impact the pretrial, release, and prosecution of violent offenders.
In 2021, the city launched a Violent Crime Initiative that resulted in the reduction of crime in many identified hot spots. By the end of the initiative, all violent crime categories were reduced except homicide. Sadly, the increase in homicides during the first months of 2022 and felonious assaults on police officers and fellow Houstonians is a sobering reminder that we must collaborate, as one community to combat our current crime challenges.
Houstonians, it is time to take our city back! To realize this vision, we are launching the One Safe Houston crime reduction initiative, which focuses on four (4) key areas:
1. Violence Reduction and Crime Prevention
2. Crisis Intervention, Response and Recovery
3. Youth Outreach Opportunities
4. Key Community Partnerships
Much work is already underway within these primary focus areas, but additional work and commitment is needed to have the greatest impact and measure of success. One Safe Houston is a comprehensive violence reduction initiative that links research-based strategies to improve public safety and reduce the harms caused by violent crime. With the collaboration of all stakeholders, I am confident that we will reduce violence and emerge as One Resilient City – One Unified City – One Safe Houston.
The One Safe Houston crime reduction initiative is a $53 million investment funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
For a breakdown of programs under these funding categories, click here for a brief summary (.pdf).
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