Harris County Commissioners unanimously approves $50M cleanup initiative in high-crime areas

The proposal was approved on Tuesday

HOUSTON – Harris County Commissioners unanimously approved a $50 million crime prevention initiative on Tuesday.

The initiative is called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. The mission is to clean up communities ridden by crime by making physical changes and upgrades to the neighborhood, like adding fencing, more lighting and visibility.

According to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, cities can curb crime by making physical changes to an area like getting rid of rundown vacant lots.

The four main elements of the plan include natural surveillance, lighting, additional fencing, and more open areas with walkways.

On the northeast side of the county in Aldine, Sheila Brodie said it’s time to clean up the area.

“The upkeep of the properties and things like that is what I have a problem with,” she said.

Brodie said crime in the area is somewhat of a constant.

“One of my grandkids got jumped a couple of days ago,” she said. “He didn’t know the young guy. He just came in and jumped on him.”

It’s a harsh reality for this grandmother to stomach. County leaders said they are looking to curb drug trafficking, prostitution and poverty in the area of Aldine.

“It’s about using community policing to help drive down crime and enhance our quality of life,” Assistant Chief Mike Lee, Harris County Sheriff’s Office said.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo said it will take a few months to get the program off the ground and they will be conducting a study to determine what neighborhoods need the funding.