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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.


For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.