On the same ground where the Moody Park riot raged in 1978, Precinct Six Constable Victor Trevino remembers the tougher days. He was a young lawman when residents along Fulton didn’t trust the police or anybody else.
“It was tough out here because the police and community relations was not good. It was real strained. We didn’t have to worry about the criminals. We had to worry about the community not wanting us. It’s gotten a lot better. With this partnership, it just shows this community has got a lot of good people.”
Keep Houston Safe has been effective in other high-crime neighborhoods and authorities hope it works on the near north side as well. Former Houston Police officer and current city councilman Adrian Garcia grew up there. He still lives down the street from Moody Park.
“We need to make sure, and I’ve always believed, that the community has to have an opportunity to interact with its police officers when they do not need them. That is what this initiative helps to accomplish. It helps to put officers in the area so that the community can feel safe and not wonder whether there’s anyone taking care of them.”
Houston Police and Precinct Six Deputies plan more patrols using overtime hours. They’ll target specific high crime hot spots and will leave a mobile command center in the neighborhood. Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt.
“It will be a visible reminder to the criminal element that HPD, Precinct Six and the citizens in this neighborhood are on the job and are focused and the targets are the criminal elements in this community.”
Armando Bermudez is obviously pleased to know more police are on the way. He’s lived on the north side for 71 years and says the neighborhood has been ignored in the past.
“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. The funding hadn’t been there. The staff hadn’t been there. Shortage of manpower. But Chief Hurtt just came up with something, he dug somewhere and found some funding to get some extra overtime for our mounted police, our bicycle patrols, our patrol units at night. I’m glad they’re finally doing something because we deserve this out here.”
Authorities hope to reduce crime on the near North Side by 20-percent.