Houston’s homicides are the highest they’ve been in at least 15 years

HOUSTON – The number of homicides in Houston this year are now the highest they have been in at least 15 years.

On Thursday, there were at least four more homicides in the city. According to the Houston Police Department, the number for the year now stands at 384.

Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi said last month that the last time the number was this high was at least 2005 when 377 homicides were reported.

Even more disturbing is that Houston added 31 homicides just in the past two weeks – Nov. 21 to Dec. 4. That equates to about two homicides a day. An average of one homicide a day was reported during the same period in 2018 and 2019.

Gamaldi said on Nov. 10 that if the city reaches 400 homicides this year, that would be the highest since the 1980s. KPRC 2 has submitted a public records request for data from 1980 to the present.

On Oct. 19, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the allocation of $4.1 million to combat violent crime, including homicide, in six hot spots.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said last month that the money had not yet been spent, but that the strategy is sound.

“Because we know, historically, when you increase your footprint in an area, violent crime goes down,” Acevedo said.

Additionally, the clearance rate of homicides, meaning the number of cases where an arrest has been made, is lower than last year.

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