Southeast Houston residents applaud city’s efforts to curb spike in violent crimes

HOUSTON – Southeast Houston considered by residents as a hotspot for crime and city leaders agree.

On Monday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, along with police Chief Art Acevedo listed the southeast side as one of six hotspots that are fueling an 11% increase in the city’s violent crime. The city and southeast residents all agree on the driving factor.

“I think it’s the stress with people being laid off and the pandemic,” said resident Delon Kibbe.

Fellow resident Norma Zamora agreed.

“A lot of people of being at home, not being able to work,” Zamora said. “So they take it out on other families or other family members.”

Along with southeast Houston, the Westside, South Gessner, North Belt, South Central and Midwest neighborhoods also are listed as hotspots. To reduce the crime, the mayor will be using $4.1 million from the federal cares act to saturate these neighborhoods with an extra 110 Houston police officers each day through the end of the year.

“That’s awesome, that’s a great idea,” Zamora said. “I’m happy. I’m very, very happy.”

Although 2020 has seen calls by some voices to redistribute law enforcement assets and in some cases reduce police presence, the people we spoke to in southeast Houston welcome Monday’s announcement.

“Of course,” Adrin Umjaili said. “It’s going to help. It’s a deterrent.”

The $4.1 million will go to pay for overtime for the officers who will be saturating those six neighborhoods. HPD says this crime reduction program will not hamper their efforts to combat crime in other parts of the city.

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