Mayor's Office Press Release
Mayor Turner and Chief Finner Attend White House Public Safety Meeting
President Biden Praises Effectiveness of One Safe Houston Initiative Funded by American Rescue Plan
May 13, 2022 -- Today at the White House, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner attended an invitation-only discussion on how cities like Houston use American Rescue Plan funding to enhance public safety.
Following the closed-door meeting that included a handful of the nation's leading mayors and police chiefs, President Joe Biden held a media briefing in the Rose Garden, where he praised the bold and strategic plans of the mayors and police chiefs.
The President said he believes Americans deserve to feel safe no matter where they live, and he is committed to using every tool at his disposal to fight violent crime. President Biden highlighted the work being done in several communities.
Speaking specifically of the city of Houston, President Biden praised Mayor Turner and Chief Finner for their innovative use of ARP funds to help reduce crime.
Houston's One Safe Houston Plan – reducing crime in the first 100 days: Mayor Sylvester Turner and Police Chief Troy Finner will describe the $52 million ARP plan to reduce violence, with $32 million in mental health and domestic violence response and victim service efforts, $11 million in police overtime (an additional 125 officers per day in areas of the most violent crime), $3 million for a new community violence intervention and prevention program, $1 million for a gun buyback initiative, $1.5 million for forensic science backlog assistance, $2 million for additional park rangers for park safety, and $1 million for a community reentry program.
Mayor Turner has invested ARP money for overtime to put 125 more officers on the streets, create comprehensive programs to improve HPD's technology, address domestic violence and mental health, and help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully reenter our community.
On February 2, Mayor Turner announced the One Safe Houston initiative, a $50 million investment funded by the American Rescue Plan that focuses on four key areas:
- Violence Reduction and Crime Prevention
- Crisis Intervention, Response and Recovery
- Youth Outreach Opportunities
- Key Community Partnerships
"I thanked the president for the federal funding, and I assured him we were using it wisely. Listening to President Biden today, it is clear that his administration is paying attention to our success in Houston using ARP to reduce violent crime," said Mayor Turner. "The results speak for themselves. Crime is going down in Houston, and they have taken note of that nationally. We want the people of the city of Houston to feel safe."
"I thought it was a positive meeting," said Chief Finner. "Houston is focusing on violent crime, boosting mental health response and how we address the issue of domestic violence- DART) which unfortunately can have fatal consequences. One Safe Houston is how you reduce crime. It is not solely left up to the police. One Safe Houston is a holistic plan, and the ARP funds are certainly helping us in the city of Houston."