Houston wants Fed funds for police after evacuee crime surge


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Preacherman
December 28, 2005, 11:19 AM
From WWL TV, New Orleans (http://www.wwltv.com/local/stories/wwl122705femacrime.1bcf986d.html):

Houston mayor asks FEMA to fund crime task force due to of high number of Katrina evacees

12:20 PM CST on Tuesday, December 27, 2005

HOUSTON -- Federal money should fund a $6.5 million task force to target a rise in crime because police face additional demands after an influx of hurricane evacuees, Houston Mayor Bill White said.

Violent crimes have surged in Houston. The city's homicide rate rose nearly 25% since last year and 70% this month. Just two of Houston's 19 patrol districts accounted for the higher homicide rate, both in southwest Houston, White said.

Officials didn't single out one cause for the higher crime rate but pointed to additional gang activity and population growth from Katrina evacuees as contributing factors.

"Crime is unacceptable, especially the murder rate, in some of these hot spots," White said Monday. "We had criminals here before the evacuation and we had some more criminals here after the evacuation."

Even though the city's crime increase isn't solely blamed on Hurricane Katrina evacuees, White said the Federal Emergency Management Agency should fund the taskforce because of the strain those additional 100,000 to 150,000 residents put on the Houston Police Department.

Officers working overtime from January to July would staff the task force. Their work would equal that of adding 150 officers to the force, Police Chief Harold Hurtt said.

They would target the most crime-affected areas, which are in southwest Houston and include apartment complexes housing many Katrina evacuees, officials said.

"Some people who preyed on the vulnerable and broke the rules in Louisiana have gravitated to certain apartment complexes which already had a high concentration of crime," White said. "Now, those areas have a worse problem."

Katrina evacuees have been connected to at least eight of 121 homicides in Houston since refugees began arriving in September, Hurtt said.

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Henry Bowman
December 28, 2005, 12:00 PM
Why federal (i.e., my) money? Why not charge back to the city or state from whence these criminals came?

Charity has its costs, too. Sorry, Houston. No good deed goes unpunished.

kage genin
December 28, 2005, 12:26 PM
Why federal (i.e., my) money? Why not charge back to the city or state from whence these criminals came?

That is so logical that it can never happen :rolleyes:

They can't actually say there's an elephant in the room when there is. Everybody knows it, but nobody can say it :scrutiny:

Phantom Warrior
December 28, 2005, 12:46 PM
Why federal (i.e., my) money? Why not charge back to the city or state from whence these criminals came?

Charity has its costs, too. Sorry, Houston. No good deed goes unpunished.


And how much money do you think LA, in general, and New Orleans, in particular, have right now?

Henry Bowman
December 28, 2005, 01:06 PM
And how much money do you think LA, in general, and New Orleans, in particular, have right now?Well, Ive made my (involuntary) contribition to $200 billion + that is headed their way. I've also volunarily contributed what I can afford through private organizations.

The point is, rich Uncle Sam cannot recify all injustice simply by throwing OPM* at it.


*Other People's Money

El Tejon
December 28, 2005, 02:01 PM
Counselor, come now, when has it ever been about rectifying "injustice"?:D

You should know it's about buying votes!:barf:

dasmi
December 28, 2005, 02:20 PM
Oh, how sad for the poor evacuees. If only Houston had done more to make them comfortable! If only the US taxpayers had given them more free, unearned, undeserved money! It's our fault, really, for being such an uncaring, awful nation. Shame on Houston. They are just expressing themselves!!
:barf: :barf: :barf: :banghead: :banghead: :cuss: :cuss:

mbt2001
December 28, 2005, 03:08 PM
The whole thing is crap. I live in Houston and it is an under policed town. Check it, they will not even hire more cops. They just make the ones we have work "overtime". *** is that about?

We need like 1,000 more cops in this city.

Also, I got a speeding ticket yesterday and there were 3 cops pulling folks over and writing tickets... Great way to solve murderers and drug dealers....

Crime control is a joke...

Standing Wolf
December 28, 2005, 08:01 PM
Yippee! Free government money!

Kim
December 28, 2005, 08:19 PM
States have just become puppet and welfare states of the FEDS. ;)

Baba Louie
December 28, 2005, 09:26 PM
We need like 1,000 more cops in this city.And who pays their salaries, taxes, benefits, etc? The City of Houston via additional taxes or someone else (like the American Taxpayers from all 50 states)?

mbt2001
December 29, 2005, 12:31 AM
And who pays their salaries, taxes, benefits, etc? The City of Houston via additional taxes or someone else (like the American Taxpayers from all 50 states)?

Well, I live here, so I pay the taxes. Since I know that the idiots at City Hall are up to, and I don't think you do, then suffice to say if they cut the STUPID PROGRAMS THAT THEY HAVE THAT SUCK UP HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND QUIT USING TOLLWAY MONEY TO LINE THEIR BLOODY POCKETS, then the issue would be quite easily solved.

We spent $300 million on a "light rail" that runs 7 miles and floods, which we knew about at construction time and will need to spend another $300 million to elevate it.

That is just one example. The voters defeated the proposition 4 times, but they kept adding it. Further to that we built a multi jillion dollar sports complex for the WORST TEAM ever known to be in the NFL. Right next to a perfectly good stadium.......

Langenator
December 29, 2005, 01:09 AM
Having workers of any type (not just cops) work overtime, vice hiring more workers, is cost effective, at least to a certain point.

Hiring a new worker means having to pay for all the benefits-medical, dental, etc-for that person, in addition to salary. An existing worker doesn't create those costs-just salary. That new worker also requires additional payments to the pension plan, and future funding for pension and medical/dental, even when they're no longer on the payroll, assuming they stay long enough to retire. Oh, and after a certain point, around $90k, there's no more Social Security payments, either. Believe it or not, King County (WA) has several patrol deputies pulling down six figures with all the overtime they work.

Now, that being said, there does come a point where it's more cost effective to hire another worker instead of paying time and a half.

I do have one question for Houston, though: shouldn't the presence of all these refugees also be increases the amount of taxes coming in? Unless all they've got is food stamps, they're spending moeny, meaning more sales tax. And more people needing more housing will drive up real estate values, meaning increased property tax revenues. So shouldn't it pay for itself?

kage genin
December 29, 2005, 01:56 AM
I do have one question for Houston, though: shouldn't the presence of all these refugees also be increases the amount of taxes coming in? Unless all they've got is food stamps, they're spending moeny, meaning more sales tax. And more people needing more housing will drive up real estate values, meaning increased property tax revenues. So shouldn't it pay for itself?
Not if the refugees are overwhelmingly the lowest of the low class scum out of New Orleans, as the surge in crime would suggest to be the case. How much would they really be buying? With what money? I would also think that already low-income housing crowded by an additional influx of drug dealers and gangs wouldn't do much for property values.

Skeptic
December 29, 2005, 08:15 AM
Yippee! Free government money!


You are cracking me up...... too funny!

RealGun
December 29, 2005, 08:38 AM
The whole thing is crap. I live in Houston and it is an under policed town. Check it, they will not even hire more cops. They just make the ones we have work "overtime". *** is that about?

We need like 1,000 more cops in this city.

Also, I got a speeding ticket yesterday and there were 3 cops pulling folks over and writing tickets... Great way to solve murderers and drug dealers....

Crime control is a joke...

If it is like some other cities, the cops won't even go into the "projects". Doing what needs to be done (going in force and shooting people when necessary) is not politically correct. I am assuming that most cities have their "9th Ward".

An acquaintance with no job and no car told me that she rode her bicycle to Greenville, about 25 miles, and it was stolen from outside a 7/11. A cop was nearby and declined to follow the perp into the "project". Now she walks or begs for rides.

I also note that this kind of problem is apparently not common in outlying areas. It would seem that criminal types either gravitate to these urban projects or are a product of them.

My suggestion, level areas that exceed a certain percentage of rentals versus owner occupation.

1911 guy
December 29, 2005, 08:53 AM
The dregs of N.O. society get free rides to another city and now it's shocking news that crime is up in Houston? Hardly. Predictable, in my opinion. Very tough and consistent enforcement of the law will clean up a bad neighborhood, but as mentioned a bit ago by other posters, cops seem more interested in easy marks for revenue that preventing or solving crime. RealGun, your idea might make sense in some cities (renter vs. owner occupation), but in a few areas near me, some of the nicer areas are upscale apts. (rented) and leased condos. Of course there are very nice owner occupied areas, but some non owner occupied neighborhoods are well kept, too.

SomeKid
December 29, 2005, 09:22 AM
OPM*
*Other People's Money

Couldn't help but pronounce OPM OPiuM. Think about it, some people are addicted to OPiuM like a drug.

My city, which took in just a few hundred of them, had increased crime. We ought to shove them back into the sewer that was New Orleans.

Lupinus
December 29, 2005, 11:09 AM
The whole thing is crap. I live in Houston and it is an under policed town. Check it, they will not even hire more cops. They just make the ones we have work "overtime". *** is that about?

We need like 1,000 more cops in this city.

Also, I got a speeding ticket yesterday and there were 3 cops pulling folks over and writing tickets... Great way to solve murderers and drug dealers....

Crime control is a joke...
It's liek that everywhere. How often do you see a cop "walking the beat" or patroling a neighborhood anymore? You don't you wil lsee the occasional police car cruise by and thats about it. But you will see plenty of cars along the road for speeders and crap that they can write tickets for to get money from the fines. Have yet to see one police car pass through my neighborhood, but I see three within a few miles of my house sitting there with a little speed gun. Make those cops actually do something with their day besides write tickets and you would have a lot more actual police work being done.

RealGun
December 29, 2005, 11:10 AM
The dregs of N.O. society get free rides to another city and now it's shocking news that crime is up in Houston? Hardly. Predictable, in my opinion. Very tough and consistent enforcement of the law will clean up a bad neighborhood, but as mentioned a bit ago by other posters, cops seem more interested in easy marks for revenue that preventing or solving crime. RealGun, your idea might make sense in some cities (renter vs. owner occupation), but in a few areas near me, some of the nicer areas are upscale apts. (rented) and leased condos. Of course there are very nice owner occupied areas, but some non owner occupied neighborhoods are well kept, too.

It depends how the area is zoned. Ultimately, if the expense of law and order and fire control, roads, transportation services, etc. exceeds the tax revenue, eminent domain should kick in. Acquiring these properties doesn't really cost anything, because they are abandoned to tax liens, often after being condemned, trashed by tenants who don't care about the property value and have nothing to lose.

Actually, if withholding law and order, it provides a good incentive for decent people, certainly property owners, to leave and clear the way for eminent domain. That's not good, but may be what is actually happening. It's kinda like deciding what war is worth fighting.

ball3006
December 29, 2005, 05:08 PM
need a grant to do what they are hired to do, inforce the law???????????chris3

Mongo the Mutterer
December 29, 2005, 05:20 PM
Wait until reelection time in NOLA --- Nagin will want em back (at least to vote!)

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