Pct. 4 unveils program to help deputies
HOUSTON So far we know that about 200 jobs will be lost. The precincts with the most layoffs are Pct. 1 with 50 employees and Pct. 4, which is laying off 97. On Thursday, Pct. 4 unveiled a pilot program meant to save money and still serve the public. The "Copline" Constable Phone Reporting Program allows residents to report minor incidents such as lost property, minor thefts and cases that do not need an immediate follow up investigation. The constable says even a small reduction in calls for deputies will make a big difference. "If we can reduce 50 to 100 a day then that provides an opportunity for those officers to be diverted to get to other proactive activities or other response directed activities," said Pct. 4 Constable Ron Hickman Harris County. The program begins Monday and the constable's office will take reports by phone between 6:30am and 10:30pm Monday through Friday. Since the layoffs began, the Harris County Sheriff's Office has seen an increase in calls. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says so far the increase hasn't been dramatic, but his office is working with community partners to make sure no area goes underserved. "We will continue to fight crime, we will continue to answer the calls of the citizens, we will continue to respond to 911 call and we will do everything we can to get there as quickly as humanly can," Garcia said. Garcia does admit the increase puts a stress on his department.