HPD’s Crime Reduction Unit Makes 1,000th Felony Arrest

January 17, 2008 - In just a little more than two months in operation, the Houston Police Department’s newest crime fighting team, the Crime Reduction Unit (CRU), has made its 1,000th felony arrest helping rid our streets and neighborhoods of criminal activity from those who prey on citizens in our city.

Police Chief Harold Hurtt said the CRU’s high numbers of felony-related charges filed (1,007 total) indicate criminals need to keep hearing the message that officers mean business. “Back in November, I publicly stated that our officers were coming after you if you engage in criminal activity,” Chief Hurtt said. “Apparently, criminals need to keep hearing us spread this message louder and clearer.”

The criminal backgrounds of the more than 1,200 total suspects arrested are alarming. They include arrests in 32 murders, 117 robberies, 171 weapons violations, 286 burglaries, the same number (286) of auto thefts, 450 thefts, 150 sex offenses, 2,161 narcotics violations and 1,711 other assorted crimes.

The arrest statistics compiled by the CRU officers are telling:

· More than 1,200 suspects arrested on more than 1,000 felony charges, warrants and misdemeanors.
· CRU officers have filed more than 600 felony narcotics charges, more than 70 weapons charges, and nearly 30 robbery charges.
· Officers have located and arrested suspects wanted on 125 felony warrants.
· CRU officers have documented more than 300 members of criminal street gangs.
· Officers have seized several vehicles involved in criminal activity and thousands of dollars in illicit proceeds.

The CRU has been deployed to the westside, southwest, near north, and northwest sides of the city. Future operations will take it to neighborhoods and areas throughout the city. In its first operation in the city’s Club Creek area in November, CRU officers swept up 269 criminals in a two-week period. Comprised of more than 50 officers broken into six squads, the CRU maintains active relationships with investigators in the Narcotics, Auto Theft, Homicide, and Robbery Divisions and is involved in repeat and ongoing investigations with those divisions. CRU officers work to complement the patrol and tactical / gang unit officers during operations in their assigned areas of the city, often responding to high priority calls and those involving violent crimes.

Citizens can do their part by helping “Keep Houston Safe” by reporting gang-related criminal activity by calling 713-247-GANG (4264) or by going to the HPD Web site at www.houstonpolice.org and clicking on the “report gang activity” link on the left side of the page. In addition, any citizen can remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS if he or she has information on individuals responsible for committing felony crimes.

JFC/JC/MDG 1-17-08

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