Harris County Pct. 4 Constable's Office launches task force to tackle surge in repeat offenders

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Low bond amounts are an ongoing source of tension within the local criminal justice system and beyond, and now another law enforcement figure is taking up that familiar cause.

Repeat offenders are the focus of the new Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office initiative. Constable Mark Herman called a press conference Thursday to announce an anti-crime task force.

"These folks are getting out with little or no bond. They're reoffending quickly again," Herman said.

He called the new task force regular police work "on steroids." There's increased cooperation among different divisions like patrol, undercover, canine and more. But it's also a lot more boots on the ground. When asked how his office would pay for the initiative, Herman said it would be covered by the existing budget including overtime pay.

He declined to offer detailed specifics on the operations such as how the task force operates, saying he didn't want to reveal methods.

In response to the question "Why now?" Herman said it's because repeat offenders are out of control in Precinct 4.

"In my 36 years in law enforcement, I have never witnessed so many suspected criminals on our streets. It's not uncommon to see individuals we arrest for DWI, and they're back out a week later," he said.

It's not just DWI, but robbery, burglary and other suspects as well. Herman said he plans to release more results from the task force next week and more initiatives are in the works.

You can view the boundaries of the Harris County precincts, including Precinct 4, here.

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