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Houston police union warns city is ‘not safe’: ‘We’re in a perfect storm’

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Houston Police Officers

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The leaders of the Houston Police Officers’ Union are raising concerns about the city’s safety, highlighting the presence of criminal suspects freely roaming the streets on bond amid the police department’s struggle with officer shortages.

Never in my lifetime

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“I have never in my lifetime – and I’m a lifelong Houstonian – seen this many suspected murderers and capital murderers who are walking the streets of Houston out on multiple bonds,” Ray Hunt, the executive director of the union, informed Fox News Digital.

Not safe

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“I would not let my wife or my kids walk down the streets of Houston at midnight under any circumstances,” he continued. “It is not safe in major cities in 2024, and it’s not safe here.”

Ongoing challenges

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The caution is issued amidst the ongoing challenges faced by the Houston Police Department in recruiting and retaining officers, a common issue affecting police departments nationwide.

Perfect storm

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“We’re in a perfect storm right now,” President Douglas Griffith said. “We had the George Floyd effect come down. We can’t hire. We can’t retain our officers. The people are leaving left and right.”

Second-guessed

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“Who in the heck wants to be a police officer in 2024?” Hunt asked, “when every single thing that they’re doing is going to be second-guessed by their body-worn camera that someone can watch three or four times to determine whether or not that officer made the right split-second decision. I don’t know who would want to do that. I could not encourage any of my family to come be a police officer in 2024 with the situation that’s going on.”

Shortage

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Griffith stated that the Houston City Council was informed about the department’s staffing deficiencies a decade ago, following a 2014 report from Sam Houston State University that highlighted a shortage of 1,500 officers in the city.

In 2014

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“In 2014, it said if Houston was staffed like Chicago, we would have 9,602 sworn officers. At that time we had about 5,600 – 4,000 short. Now we have just over 5,000. We’ve already lost officers since then,” Hunt said.

Investigate

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Due to this shortage, “we will never be able to be able to investigate” every case, Griffith added.

Lack of personnel

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“A survey of investigative division commanders revealed excessively high numbers of cases with leads that were not investigated in 2013 due to lack of personnel,” Hunt continued. “This was 2014 they’re writing this. For burglary and theft, nearly 15,000 cases were suspended – 3,000 assault cases in the homicide division, 3,000 hit-and-run cases for that year. They knew that. Everyone knew that we were shorthanded, and now everyone wants to say, ‘Wow, these officers are lazy. They’re not doing your job.’ Completely untrue.”

Staffing problem

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“This was presented to City Council at the time, this was presented to every person. And you can find the tapes on there where one of the council members says, ‘Wow, y’all just put us on notice that we’ve got a serious staffing problem.'”

Criticized

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Griffith also criticized the court system for “not doing their job.”

Violate

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“Their contention is that we can’t hold somebody. We have to give everybody a bond, yes, the first time. Once they violate that bond, they can be held in jail until they go to court again. And we get people on six, seven, eight, nine bonds at one time. And that’s a problem that we have to fix in the courts. And with the DA’s office, you try to make sure that these public offenders can’t be continued to roam the streets and victimize our citizens.”

Five to six years

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Hunt mentioned that suspects in Harris County, where Houston is situated, might not appear in court for five to six years.

Criminals

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In contrast, criminals in Montgomery County, located north of Houston, face consequences for their actions.

Boundary lines

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“Crooks in this area know the boundary lines of Harris County and Montgomery County.

Held responsible

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They don’t want to commit crimes in Montgomery County because they know they’re going to be held responsible.”

Challenges

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In the previous month, authorities in Austin, Texas highlighted the challenges of understaffing and increased response times for 911 calls following the city council’s decision to reduce funding for the department in 2020.

Michael Bullock

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Michael Bullock, the President of the Austin Police Association, expressed to Fox News Digital that the continuous decline in public safety had pushed the city to the edge of a crisis.

Significant incident

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In a significant incident in February, a part of the city was left unattended by any police officers for several hours on a Saturday.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. BARFBAG

    May 1, 2024 at 10:41 am

    BLAME biden AND UNLESS TRUMP IS REINSTATED AS PRESIDENT THE SITUATION WILL ONLY ESCALATE!

  2. David Goodfellow

    May 1, 2024 at 12:49 pm

    make America great again – Trump 2024

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