A list of known sex offenders are the target of a round-up by the Houston Police Department. HPD is working with Crimestoppers to apprehend several dozen of the worst repeat offenders and parole violators in the area. Houston Public Radio’s Laurie Johnson reports.
Back in April, Houston Crime Stoppers started an initiative to highlight child predators on their website. That campaign resulted in 68 felons apprehended. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt says they’ve formed a task force to continue that momentum.
“We have over 5,000 sexual predators registered in Harris County. That’s the number – 5,000 individuals. And like I said, a lot of them are not following the law, they’re not providing information as they should, they’re not registering. And these are the individuals that we want to track down and if they’re not following the law, we want to bring them into custody.”
HPD has assigned 67 officers to the roundup efforts, and all uniformed patrol officers are also briefed on the assignment. The department identified 62 sex offenders as high priority arrests. HPD Assistant Chief Vicki King says they believe some of them are repeat offenders and others have given false addresses or failed to report in.
“There is an inherent danger that we believe when someone is lying to law enforcement of failing to comply with the registration law, that they want to remain under the radar. And that’s what we don’t want to happen, those are the ones that we’re targeting.”
King says they’re not sure exactly how many sex offenders are in parole violation. But she says the public is the best resource for streaming intelligence to police officers. Crime Stoppers Spokeswoman Katherine Cabaniss.
“Their faces are on the Crime Stoppers website. Go to the Crime Stoppers website at www.crime-stoppers.org and look at those faces. Help law enforcement find these criminals who are out in our community.”
HPD started the Roundup Initiative on Monday and report they’ve already apprehended 20 of the 62 high-priority offenders. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.