Houston has a crime problem that is not city-wide. Mayor Bill White and Police Chief Harold Hurtt have formed the “Neighborhood Enforcement Team Taskforce or NETT.
Mayor White expects the cost to be $6.5 million. He says recent talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency indicated FEMA will reimburse the city all or most of the cost of NETT. The hot spots are areas with high rates of crime. Mayor White says over all, the city is safe.
The police chief and the mayor did not what to lay the blame for these hot spots on Hurricane Katrina evacuees. Mayor White says it’s really a matter of an increase in population, as the city grows naturally and with evacuees crime will go up. Mayor White says it looks as if some evacuees who have broken the law are living in areas that had high crime rates before the storms. The NETT will sweep areas with high rates of disturbances and fights, property crimes and violent crimes. NETT will also be picking up people with outstanding misdemeanor and felony warrants. The program begins next week.