HOUSTON — The New England Patriots wasn't the only team with a winning strategy during Super Bowl 51— officers with the Houston Police Department were making wins all week. The department's commander in charge of security for the big game announced Tuesday there was a significant reduction in arrests during the 10 days of events compared to arrests made last time the hosted the Super Bowl back in 2004.
HPD Chief Art Acevedo offered high praise to the men and women at HPD and the more than 40 law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly to help keep the events safe. During the 2004 Super Bowl, which spanned four days, officers arrested 189 people on various charges.
“I have received so many laudatory remarks about the excellence of our police officers. Their warmth, care and professionalism was on full display and noticed by our community members and visitors,” Acevedo said. “A huge thanks goes to our local, state and federal partners for helping make Houston shine and show the world how teamwork has a lasting impression on all,” the chief said.
HPD Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik, overall Public Safety Coordinator in charge of security for this year’s Super Bowl, attributed the low arrest numbers in part to police visibility at all locations.
Buenik broke down the top five categories of arrests:
- 21 - Vice Prostitution
- 19 - Public Intoxication
- 11 - Trademark (Counterfeit with illegal items seized worth a MSRP of $825,000)
- 8 - Assault
- 8 - Open Warrant
Included in the above number are five arrests that occurred at NRG Stadium:
- 2 Public Intoxication
- 1 Criminal Trespass
- 1 Possession of Narcotics
- 1 Assault
Capt. Dan Harris of the HPD Vice Division stated the 21 arrests involving prostitution were only about 10 percent of all arrests task force officers made in the 10-day operation period. The department has released the mugshots of more than 100 prostitution solicitors, commonly refered to as 'johns.'