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County marks 1 year ShotSpotter Success

SHOTSPOTTER RESULTS IN THE FIRST YEAR OF SERVICE

HARRIS COUNTY — At a news conference last week, Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, and East Aldine Executive Director Richard Cantu reviewed the success of a crime fighting tool known as ShotSpotter which was installed over one year ago in Aldine.

“It’s a game changer,” said Richard Cantu of the East Aldine District where the device is being tested. In one year, it captured 12,454 rounds in a 4-mile radius. Harris County says gunfire-detecting device has led to multiple seizures, arrests and charges.

With more people across the Houston area concerned about crime, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said he has to test every possible crime-fighting tool. That includes acoustic sensors that detect and alert deputies to gunfire in real time. The system is known as SHOTSPOTTER, and was installed in Aldine over one year ago. The makers of ShotSpotter tout the device as “precision policing solutions that help save lives, solve cases and deter crime.”

New VIPER program to reduce crime

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, along with the County Commissioners and Judge Hidalgo, announce the new VIPER program.

VIPER VIOLENT FELONY WARRANT TASK FORCE

Harris County, TX — TUESDAY, May 10, Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia was joined by County Judge Lina Hidalgo, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, and Pct. 6 Constable Silvia R. Trevino announced VIPER – a new violent crime warrants task force approved by Commissioners Court. The warrant roundup initiative aims to reduce the number of violent offenders on the loose in Harris County. After being considered by Commissioners Court, VIPER passed unanimously with a 4-0 vote.

There are more than 50,000 people in Harris County who are wanted by police, including more than 700 people who are wanted for murder. The Harris County Commissioners Court passed the creation of a new task force that will be aimed at tracking down and arresting the most violent offenders.

The Harris County Violence Persons Task Force, or VIPER, consists of deputies from both the sheriff’s and constables’ offices. VIPER will add much-needed staff, whose purpose will be to track down and arrest the most violent offenders in Harris County. The task force will be made up of two teams, each team will consist of 4 deputy constables and 4 deputy sheriffs.

“VIPER will help ensure public safety that must be addressed,” Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “Putting a stop to the culture of not feeling there are any consequences for criminal activity.”

2 dead, 3 wounded in Airline Drive shoot-out

Two people died and several were others injured in a shootout near a north Harris County flea market Sunday afternoon, deputies aid.

According to officials with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, thousands of people were at a flea market in the 8700 block of Airline Drive near West Gulf Bank Road around 1 p.m. when two groups of people began shooting at each other.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, while three others were transported to various hospitals. Their conditions were not known.

The victims were all part of the altercation and no innocent bystanders were harmed, deputies said.

HCC Northeast names Michael Edwards as new President

DR. MICHAEL EDWARDS

HOUSTON (May 11, 2022) —Dr. Michael Edwards has been named President of Houston Community College (HCC) Northeast College, pending approval by the Board of Trustees on May 16.

Dr. Edwards, a 25- year employee of the district, had been serving as Interim President of HCC Northeast since December 7, 2021.

In his distinguished career, Dr. Edwards has held positions as Associate Vice Chancellor for Systems Operations, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications and Government Relations, Executive Director for Institutional Effectiveness, Interim President of Coleman College for Health Sciences, Executive Dean for Instruction and Student Services, Dean of Workforce Development, and President of the HCC Faculty Senate.

His numerous awards and recognitions include the National Institute for Organizational and Staff Development (NISOD) Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Certificate in Organizational Innovation from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business, member of the University of Houston at Clear Lake Board of Sociology and Criminology, Quality Texas Foundation examiner for continuous quality improvement, Commendation for Distinguished Service from the HCC Board of Trustees, and graduate from the Future Leaders Institute of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).

“Dr. Edwards is the right person at the right time to serve as President of HCC Northeast College,” said Chancellor Cesar Maldonado, “In his significant role as Interim President, he has provided leadership that drives student success and promotes the ongoing development of instructional pathways partly made available through the Northeast College Centers of Excellence.

County votes $4 million for Youth crime prevention

Funds targeted to groups that help at-risk kids

Harris County announces a Youth Reinvestment Fund to engage at-risk youth to prevent crime before it happens; to Support the work of grassroots organizations to zero in and eliminate root causes of gun violence and crime.

Judge Hidalgo joined Commissioner Rodney Ellis and other local leaders last week to announce another new initiative aimed at reducing crime across Harris County.

Approved by Harris County Commissioners Court in April, the $4 million Youth Reinvestment Fund will prevent crime, including violent gun crime, before it happens by supporting local organizations who engage at-risk youth and support strategies proven to divert young people away from the criminal justice system.

Research consistently demonstrates that investing in early childhood intervention among at-risk youth effectively decreases the likelihood of young people becoming adult offenders later on in life and saves taxpayer dollars in the long run.

BIG Improvement program expands

East Aldine grant program now covers Facades, more

The East Aldine Management District (EAMD) Board of Directors has established and funded the Façade Grant program for the EAMD, as part of the original BIG (Business Improvement Grant) program. The program provides grant funds to EAMD commercial property owners, within the district boundaries, in support of revitalization on a case-by-case basis.

Grants are available on a 50/50 basis with a cap of $10,000 per grant. Grant funds will only be approved for facades and signs which are in alignment with the City’s Code of Ordinances. Eligible projects include but are not limited to the following:

(1) Façade renovations (visible to the public)
(2) Awning installation
(3) Outdoor lighting
(4) Landscaping
(5) Signage
(6) Roof and foundation repairs
(7) Exterior Painting
(8) Parking Lot Improvements
(9) Power Washing Applications for the program are reviewed by the EAMD Board.

In addition to review for basic eligibility requirements, applications will be reviewed for:

UPDATE: CONCERT POSTPONED

THE CONCERT ORIGINALLY PLANNED FOR TOMORROW NIGHT HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

This is an update to a story that was published earlier (this week in print, and this evening online). We apologize for any confusion, and will publish details on the rescheduled concert when we get them.