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Catch the Crooks

The Houston Police Department’s budget has nearly doubled in the last ten years, now totaling over $900 million.  Just five years ago, we voted to allow the City to exceed the revenue cap by an additional $90 million for public safety.  Yet today, we have about 300 fewer officers than we did ten years ago, while the department has grown incredibly top heavy.  The Chief of Police and the Chief of Staff now have 320 employees in their departments.  Of the Department’s 5,300 police officers and cadets, only about 4,000 are assigned to patrol or investigative duty.

As a result, only eight percent of burglaries and 18 percent of robberies are solved according to the latest statistics -- while thousands of other crimes go unsolved. HPD may well need more officers, but blindly throwing more money at the department is not the solution. Previous city leaders tried that, and it didn’t work. We need an independent, third-party review of HPD’s operations to find ways to make it more efficient and more effective.

Finally, the City of Houston needs to get out of the crime lab business once and for all. Getting rid of the city's crime lab and partnering with Harris County's new state-of-the-art forensic science facility located near the Texas Medical Center would help realize some savings from the City's $20 million crime lab budget and help put more police officers on patrol catching more crooks.

Learn more about Bill's plan to keep your neighborhood safe.

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