HOUSTON – Since its launch in March, the seven-member Harris County Task Force has been engaged in operations addressing issues like burglary and theft, which are typical crimes throughout a big city like Houston. Thanks to partnerships like this, and others, the North Houston District is experiencing an overall decrease in crime.
“When comparing last year to this year, this area has seen an 11 percent decrease in violent crime,” said Tracy Harrison, the District’s public safety director. “Our partnerships with local law enforcement allow us to focus on specific concerns and build relationships between the community and the officers on patrol. We definitely want to catch the bad guys, but we also dedicate resources to activities that help prevent crime in the first place,” Harrison added.
The Harris County Task Force is the newest of the public safety programs provided by the District. It has made more than 500 arrests since its inception. In addition to targeted police operations, the team participates in community outreach and visits with residents and business owners. The goal of these interactions is to increase collaboration between the community and police and provide practical tips for crime prevention.
“It’s part of our charge to care for the safety of the area in a way that delivers results and maximizes resources,” said Greg Simpson, North Houston District president. “A highly visible location and a mix of different types of development have led us to implementing a layered approach. We start by addressing overall district-wide concerns and then drill down to more specialized needs, like those of our businesses and our public parks.”
The layered approach includes community-building services and activities. The Public Safety Center at Greenspoint Mall is the result of District advocacy and partnerships. It is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and serves as a neighborhood police storefront. The center can be reached by calling 281-875-6155.
In October, the District spearheaded the area’s first community-wide National Night Out with more than 500 attendees. For another outreach event, Harrison works with local apartment communities to host “Hoops and Heroes,” which focuses on building relationships between law enforcement and area youth. To support local property managers and employers, she facilitates crime prevention meetings to deliver information and resources to residents and employees. For more information on public safety events and services, log on to our website or call 281-874-2131.