HPD Response to Union Internet Survey
June 16, 2006 --The safety of
the public is the Houston Police Department's hghest priority.
As such, HPD has continued to be responsive to public safety needs
by constantly monitoring crime trends and distributing police
resources to areas requiring immediate attention. It is no secret
that homicide and violent crime issues have continued to be an
area of concern for HPD and public at large, particularly in the
southwest area of Houston.
As an example, one police district, which has
been targeted for additional deployment, has experienced 19 murders
since January as compared to nine for the same period last year.
The department cannot think of a matter more urgent than the loss
of human life. It is our duty to act quickly and decisively to
protect our citizens from the violent acts of others. We have
responded with a measured, well-defined undercover and uniformed
strategy to the complex and far-ranging crime problems in southwest
Houston. More details regarding the department's additional violent
crime initiatives will be released early next week.
The Houston Police Officers Union doesn't agree
with the urgency on this issue and has announced that it plans
to issue a management competency survey based on recent decisions
by the department to implement several overtime initiatives.
That's unfortunate, but HPD remains committed
to the safety of the public as our No. 1 job.
Rising crime trends coupled with diminished staffing
levels have presented a particularly challenging issue for HPD
management. In an effort to address this issue, a decision was
made to utilize overtime initiatives in the short-term to target
hot spots or problem areas. The long-term solution is to permanently
increase staffing through the hiring of additional officers and
the hiring of civilians to allow the redeployment of some officers
to operational duties. The Mayor and city council recognized this
need and have committed to increase the number of police cadet
classes in the upcoming budget year.
We acknowledge that many times officers are asked
to make sacrifices for the benefit of the public's safety. The
Houston Police Department is proud of the enthusiastic manner
in which our officers continue to provide professional and effective
police services to the citizens of our city. While the department
recognizes its officers as its most valuable resource, we know
that we are sworn to put the public's safety first.
information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at