Houston moving $4.1M of CARES Act money to push back on rising crime during pandemic

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Houston to use COVID-19 relief aid for 6 city crime hotspots
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City officials identified six hotspots around Houston as part of their case to invest COVID-19 relief money in fighting violent crime.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Violent crime is up 11% in the city of Houston and there are six hot spots throughout the city that are seeing the most violent crime numbers.

But Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a new initiative that could help battle crime and decrease numbers, especially during this pandemic.

"Unfortunately, major cities across the nation, including Houston, are experiencing an increase in homicides, shootings and other crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic," Turner said during a briefing on Monday. "There is no denying that the virus has contributed to anxiety and stress throughout as people cope with job losses, feeling of isolation, the illness or death of loved ones, children learning virtually, and fear of the unknown."

According to a tweet from Turner, the city will put $4.1 million of CARES Act funding into the initiative.

These were the six parts of the Houston-area that the city saw as violent crime hotspots as of late:

  • West side
  • South Gessner
  • North Belt
  • Southeast Houston
  • South Central
  • Midwest

Starting Monday, Turner said there will be an additional 110 officers deployed each day to those areas to help reduce crime.

"HPD is anticipating an upward trend of COVID-19 and the city of Houston, as schools and businesses begin to open, and quite frankly, as the hardship caused by this pandemic continues," Turner said. "Overall, violent crime is up 11% in the city of Houston, and we want to do everything we can of the next two and a half months to try to dampen that."

Those 110 officers deployed will stay in place for the remainder of the year.

"This is our city and we must work together. As mayor, I will not tolerate lawlessness or indifference. Together, we must make our community safer," Turner wrote on Twitter.

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