HPD Seeks to Reassure Public Through Fear Reduction
March 7, 2006 -- In an effort
to reduce the level of fear reported by residents living in areas
affected by recent crimes, Chief Harold Hurtt turned to his Community
Relations Unit (CRU) to implement a Fear Reduction Initiative.
With a reduction in personnel and limited resources,
law enforcement agencies often become more keenly focused on addressing
actual crimes while monitoring the fear of crime. However, "our
perception of crime and the fear it produces can significantly
impact our quality of life," says Sergeant Babb, who leads
the CRU. "Fear of crime has the potential to impact our lives
more than crime itself," says Babb. "While a violent
crime may directly affect one individual, the resulting fear can
be quite substantial and affect an entire community's day-to-day
activities by causing some people to think twice before allowing
their kids to play in the park, or walk to the corner store or
school" said Babb.
The CRU began their effort in those parts of
the city experiencing an increase of crime. To date, officers
have visited approximately 200 families. They focus on making
personal contact with crime victims followed by door-to-door visits
with others to hear their concerns and offer assistance when appropriate.
Many of their visits are conducted in plain-clothes; however,
they always display their law enforcement identification and badges.
The response from residents and property managers
so far is overwhelmingly supportive. "They are thrilled that
we are taking the time to visit with them and address their concerns,"
said Officer Kelly Young of the CRU. "I have thoroughly enjoyed
having the opportunity to interact on a personal level with the
citizens we serve" she said.
"Chief Hurtt understands the importance
of cultivating and maintaining positive relationships within the
community," said Captain Dwayne Ready of the Public Affairs
Division. The Fear Reduction Initiative is one step to further
foster those relationships and assure the public that their police
department is working for them.
For additional information regarding this initiative,
please contact Sergeant J. Babb of the Community Relations Unit
at (713) 308-3200.
For additional information, please
contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.