HOUSTON- City leaders say Houston is experiencing a “moderate uptick” in violent crime. Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo came together Tuesday at HPD headquarters to announce their plan to combat the problem as they kicked off the annual “March on Crime” initiative.
The first part of the plan includes getting more officers on the streets. Mayor Turner announced the city will allocate $1.5 million dollars towards officers’ overtime for the next six months. These officers will be working in the areas where they’ve seen an increase in violent crime.
They explained their goal is to reduce all crime with an emphasis on murders, aggravated assaults, aggravated robberies and disrupting gang activity in the city.
“Houston is experiencing moderate fluctuations in violent crime. The uptick in crime is a concern to everyone and it’s important to get on top of this now,” said Mayor Turner.
The second part of the plan is technology updates. Mayor Turner believes this is one way they can keep the city safer, even as there are less officers than they would like for there to be.
“Even though we have more police officers than we did four years ago, we still need about 600 more. In the meantime, until that can take place, we need to supplement our men and women who are in blue on our streets with enhanced technology.” explained Turner.
Mayor Turner asked Chief Acevedo to come up with a proposal of technology upgrades the department could benefit from. The city is trying to round up $8.5 million from business and organizations for this part of the plan.
The proposal includes a citywide public safety camera system that would allow business owners and homeowners to have the option to share their video with the police department. HPD would also have the capability to go back within a certain amount of time after a crime happens and capture video from the system.
The proposal also includes ShotSpotter, which is a gunshot detection system which they are getting ready to start using in a five square mile radius within the city.