HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department held a press conference Monday morning to discuss the topics of the upcoming March on Crime, an initiative to educate the public on best crime prevention practices.
During the joint press conference with Houston City Council members, Police Chief Art Acevedo highlighted specific efforts the department plans to employ in order to protect local communities.
This year’s theme is “Keep Houston Safe.”
March on Crime is an annual HPD campaign that was created in response to growing violence in Houston’s African-American communities and later expanded to include all residents.
Previous campaigns have featured a focus on drug awareness, the Crime Stoppers agency, neighborhood watch programs, burglary prevention and stopping crimes against minors and the elderly.
During a press conference last month, Acevedo reported sexual assaults increased by 12.6 percent and aggravated assault by 13.8 percent between 2016 and 2017. He added that in each case, 70 percent of the victims knew their assailants.
"Understand that it's OK to turn around and walk away, rather than get a chair and break it over somebody's head," Acevedo said in January. "Or to get a knife and stab somebody. Or to let the emotion get a hold of you, and snap. The next thing you know, you're doing something that you'll regret for the rest of your life."
Overall, the department reported a 2.1 percent drop in crime across Houston with a decrease in homicide, robberies and non-violent crimes.
The first March on Crime campaign was launched in December of 1984.