HPD detectives give KHOU tour of dilapidated facilities

Yesterday, KHOU-11's Jeff McShan ran an important -- albeit depressing -- report on dilapidated equipment at HPD. Here's an excerpt:

They’re so frustrated with the conditions inside the city’s jail, Houston police detectives decided to give 11 News a tour. Their bosses probably wouldn't like it, so to avoid attention; a home video camera was used to capture the images.

The detectives wanted the public to see just how old, out of date and defective the equipment is inside the building that houses the city’s main jail.

Inside, you will find the stained ceiling tiles, exposed wiring, punctured walls, leaking pipes and worn chairs.

But what bothers investigators most is the interview room where criminal suspects are interrogated and video taped.


At the main city jail, HPD employees say there is only one interview room. One room for the fourth largest police department in the country.

And a tiny camera in the ceiling feeds to an outdated VHS recorder. A machine that one homicide detective says destroyed his tape and a confession.

There is plenty of space for more interview rooms and recording equipment, but most of the adjacent rooms are filled with trash and old equipment.

There is a leadership problem at HPD when detectives feel they must go to KHOU and other media outlets to try to get basic equipment needed to do their jobs.

Today, McShan ran HPD's response, in which assistant chief Michael Dirden says that some new equipment has been ordered, and that HPD has interview rooms in other buildings. That's certainly a better response than, say, Chief Hurtt's ghostblogger smearing the reporter. We hope McShan will follow up on the promised improvements in a month or so.

BLOGVERSATION: Lose an Eye, It's a Sport.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 02/05/08 11:28 PM | Print |

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