HOUSTON - The holidays are a joyful time, but with that joy comes an increase in crimes committed by those waiting to take advantage of unwitting shoppers. HPD officer James Sobota said there is one main thing that everyone should think about, not only during the holidays but all year long.
"When they go shopping, getting gas, or just driving around, stay alert," he said. "That's the biggest key to it. Put the cell phones down. Don't text and stay focused when you're out in public."
Sobota talks with Khambrel Marshall on Houston Newsmakers about many other tips and advice to stay safe during the increased crime period of the holidays.
The Department of Children's Protective Services has a faith-based program that works with area churches to collect clothes and other items needed for children in CPS care or in foster homes waiting for adoption. Yolette Sneed is a CPS faith-based specialist and said what the churches provide is one of the ways the children can have safe lives until they can move on to better lives.
"For a lot of children that we have in foster care waiting for adoption, we know that there are a lot of wonderful families out here that are able to provide our children with forever a forever family," Sneed said.
Ashley Smalls is another faith-based specialist who has worked in other areas of CPS and says the work is often very difficult but there is one big payoff.
"The children's smile," she said. "At the end of the day when you see a child who has been removed from their family and they are now engaged with a new family that they don't know anything about, just to see that smile on their face, to know that they're OK is rewarding to me."
Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall, every Sunday at 10 a.m. right after Meet the Press on KPRC 2.
- Officer James Sobota, Houston Police Department, 713-884-3131, www.houstonpolice.org
- Yolette Sneed, CPS Faith-Based Specialist, 713-394-4231, www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/locations.asp?r=6
- Ashley Smalls CPS Faith-Based Specialist, 713-394-4000, www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/locations.asp?r=6
- Boots, Coats and Duffel Bag Drive on Dec. 10; 713-394-4231, 2525 Murworth Dr, Houston, TX 77054