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Houston Crime Stats Improve Despite Fewer Officers

Crime in Houston was down 2.1 percent in 2017, despite the police department having to do more with less. Houston’s police chief says the number of murders dropped and non-violent crime was down. But he’s renewing his call for more officers and a larger budget

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the number of murders dropped and non-violent crime was down in 2017.

The number of murders last year dropped by 10.6 percent. Statistics show at least 20 percent of the 269 murders in 2017 were gang-related and 16 percent involved domestic violence. Non-violent crime was down more than 4 percent, but Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said aggravated assaults were up by nearly 14 percent.

“Seventy percent of the victims of aggravated assault knew the suspect. That means that we’re going to identify 70 percent of the suspects, catch ’em, take ’em to prison,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo said the reduction in the size of the Houston Police force means that calls have to be prioritized.

“You should be able to sleep at night without a neighbor’s dog barking all night long or with loud music. But we have to prioritize our calls, and I’m sorry, but when you’re down to 5,100 officers in a city that 20 years ago had 500,000 fewer residents but 300 more cops, that doesn’t add up,” Acevedo said.

Acevedo is critical of Governor Greg Abbott‘s proposed revenue caps for cities, saying Houston already operates with 2,000 fewer officers than it should.


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