Houston Matters

Does Law Enforcement’s Inability to Investigate Every Crime Make the Public Apathetic About Reporting It?

We learned this past summer about a Houston Police Department staffing study commissioned by the city, which indicated 15,000 burglaries and thefts, 3,000 hit-and-run crashes and 3,000 assaults in 2013 were set aside without follow-up. Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, at the time, noted “There has never been a time that I have been employed […]

We learned this past summer about a Houston Police Department staffing study commissioned by the city, which indicated 15,000 burglaries and thefts, 3,000 hit-and-run crashes and 3,000 assaults in 2013 were set aside without follow-up. Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, at the time, noted “There has never been a time that I have been employed there that the Houston Police Department has had the capacity to investigate every crime that’s been reported to the agency.” In fact, some 1.2 million calls are made to HPD each year.

Of course, the most important call is the one you make when you’re a victim of a crime. When law enforcement lacks the resources to address every one of these calls, it can leave some citizens feeling apathetic or resigned about what police can do.

We consider the impact of that apathy, with Ray Hunt, President of the Houston Police Officers Union, and area psychologist Dr. Michael Winters.

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