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Houston homicides rising: What’s behind the increase and what’s being done to protect families

Lights atop a police cruiser flash at the scene of a crime in this undated file image.
Lights atop a police cruiser flash at the scene of a crime in this undated file image. (KPRC/File)

HOUSTON – Shots fired. Police sirens. Crime scene tape.

Some people are saying Houston is rapidly returning to its old ways of the 80′s -- a city filled with homicides.

Andy Kahan, of Crime Stoppers, is one them.

“The numbers that we have seen up, somewhere around 40% from last year,” said Kahan during an interview with KPRC 2 Investigates.

Homicide statistics have been under the microscope as of late because of the recent rash of homicides in the city combined with Monday’s shooting death of Houston police Sgt. Sean Rios during what is being investigated as a road-rage incident.

At a news conference following the shooting, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said: “It is another rough day. This has been a rough year.”

HPD numbers show homicides in Houston are on the brink of 350. Thus far, that total makes it the deadliest year in the city since 2015.

The statistics are rapidly approaching the most since 377 were recorded in 2005.

What’s different? COVID-19 for one.

Another significant difference? The number of HPD personnel on the streets.

“We have the same number officers today that we had 20 years ago and we have grown by 500,000 people,” said HPD Chief Art Acevedo during a recent news conference.

However, there are other factors.

KPRC 2 Investigates takes a look at them and shows you what steps are being taken to protect your family Tuesday on KPRC 2 News at 10 p.m.


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