Houston Mayor announces $44 million “One Safe Houston”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announces “One Safe Houston” at a news conference last week.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announces “One Safe Houston” at a news conference last week.

HOUSTON – Mayor Sylvester Turner has announced “One Safe Houston: the Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative to Combat Violent Crime,” which focuses on four key areas:

–Violence Reduction and Crime Prevention

–Crisis Intervention, Response and Recovery

–Youth Outreach Opportunities

–Key Community Partnerships.

The plan outlines a commitment to put more officers on the streets through overtime and cadet classes and creates a $1 million gun buyback program. It also provides $1.5 million in additional funding to the Houston Forensic Science Center to address backlogs and funds domestic violence programs with an additional $3 million to provide more services for survivors and prevention efforts.

“This plan represents a holistic approach to combatting violent crime on the streets while being responsive to the needs of victims and building healthier communities in the process,” said Mayor Turner. “Law enforcement efforts alone will not sufficiently address the symptoms of crime. We are faced with a public health crisis, and it will require all of us, working together to overcome it.”

Mayor Turner also announced:

–$2.5 million for the implementation of the CURE Violence program in targeted communities. The Cure Violence model trains and deploys outreach workers and violence interrupters to mitigate conflict on the street before it turns violent.

–Increased support for the Community Re-Entry Network Program. The program helps formerly incarcerated individuals with successful community reintegration including workforce development, mental and behavioral health resources and housing and other basic needs referrals and resources. Reducing recidivism is critical for increasing longterm public health and safety and lowering corrections costs. The proposed $1 million dollar increase will allow a 50% increase in participants to grow from 500 to 750 annually.

–A proposed ordinance for council approval requiring security cameras on certain classes of businesses where the increase in crime in concentrated.

–A proposed ordinance for city council approval requiring that a bail bond company charge a premium which is equal to at least ten percent of the amount of the bail bond set by the court.

“This is a comprehensive approach to lowering the crime rate that focuses on police initiatives and touches on the true causes of violent crime such as social issues. I am grateful that Mayor Turner is committing not just to HPD but also to social service agencies in our city.”

“This is a public health crisis and as a City, we will and must address the crisis through law enforcement, public health practitioners and community partners working together. NO ONE CAN ESCAPE ACCOUNTABILITY.”

“The strategy we outlined today is a blueprint for the City that can guide us beyond 2022.”

“With the collaboration of all stakeholders, including business owners, faith-based leaders, and organizations that work with those experiencing family violence and mental illness, I am confident that we will reduce violence and emerge as One Resilient City – One Unified City – One Safe Houston.”