Houston Newsmakers: HPD Chief Troy Finner says city’s homicide rate ‘unacceptably high,’ talks bail bond reform

Also: Scholarship honoring Lauren Anderson, Houston Ballet’s first African-American principal dancer, established

Houston Police Department Patch (KPRC-Houston Police Department)
Chief Troy Finner, Houston Police Department (KPRC)

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner is finishing his first year as Houston’s top cop and celebrates that milestone as a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Chief Finner says the city’s homicide rate is still unacceptably high but is trending in the right direction and more needs to be done.

“We cannot allow violent offenders time after time to commit violent crimes and we’re letting them out,” he said. “That’s not Victim-centric,” Finner said, referring to the need to pay much more attention to the impact felt by the victims of crimes.”

Finner says the attention being focused on Judges who may give low bonds may be misplaced and singles out another problem area.

“The bail bonding industry. They don’t get a pass. Because when judges are doing the right thing and giving proper bond…We’ve always been in a system where it’s been 10%. (Referring to the percentage of total bond required by bail bondsmen) Now it’s three, two and sometimes one percent. That’s just not right,” he said. “Let’s have some common sense about these things and let’s get intentional about standing up for the victims of violent crime and putting people in places where they need to and there’s one place for a violent criminal who commits violent crime after crime. That’s in jail.”


Houston Ballet establishes Lauren Anderson Young Dancer Scholarship

What better way for Lauren Anderson to celebrate 50 years of ballet dancing than to have a “Young Dancers Scholarship” named after her.

“Houston’s my home! I live here. Houston has embraced me as a dancer and now as a teacher,” she said. “And for the Houston Ballet to honor me in that way is amazing.”

Anderson is currently conducting master classes and beginning classes as part of the Houston Ballet Education and Community Engagement program and says without a scholarship she would not have been to achieve the success she has.

“I started on scholarship and then later on when I got into the professional division, was on a full scholarship,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it otherwise. It was expensive. The shoes are expensive. The clothes are expensive …it’s the doorway to more than I could have ever thought.”

See the full interview on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and HOUSTON NEWSMAKERS EXTRA ONLINE.

Lauren Anderson with Dance Students (Houston Ballet)

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