$1.5 million in increased overtime approved for HPD
HOUSTON – Out of an abundance of caution in the wake of recent shootings, the city of Houston has approved a $1.5 million increase for overtime for police officers.
The overtime money was approved to enhance public safety in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, shootings.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made the announcement Wednesday. He said the decision was made in order to put more manpower on the streets in order to be in a position to investigate crimes and be proactive in addressing any criminal activity that may exist.
"We want to be proactive. We want to make sure we have the necessary resources and manpower out there in our streets and our neighborhoods to help keep the public safe," Turner said.
No tax weekend
City officials said there will be an extra police presence in shopping areas during the no sales tax period this weekend.
No immediate threat
While there is no specific threat of a mass shooting in Houston, "It's important for people to know we're increasing our presence," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.
Crime is down
Turner said city murders are down 4% this year and violent crimes continue to decline.
What Acevedo said
Acevedo talked about the importance of increased funding. He said the Houston Police Department has a plan in place.
"What it's going to give us is boots on the ground when necessary and additional investigative capacity when necessary that we wouldn't have without it. It sends a message. That strong message is that we are the city of Houston. We stand up together," Acevedo said.
The chief thanked Turner and everyone in the community who has come together to report crimes.
"At the end of the day, the greatest force multiplier is the community itself. You are the eyes and ears. We need all 2.4 million Houstonians and all 6.7 million people living in this region coming together to report things," Acevedo said.
Acevedo said the funding is especially helpful in the summer months because of a traditional increase in terms of violent crimes.
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