KHOU: No cops to train neighborhood patrols

KHOU-11's Wendell Edwards reports on another manifestation of HPD's manpower shortage:

Every night without fail, Jimmie Elie just doesn’t lock her door — she barricades it.

“I feel very secure once I’m inside,” Elie said. “It’s the outside I’m worried about.”

Jimmie Elie barricades her door every night.

For 20 years she’s lived in a patio home in southwest Houston.

For protection, she has bars on her doors and an alarm system for her house, and recently she’s added bars on her front windows.

“Yes, they’ve tried to break in; that’s when I put the burglar bars inside,” Elie said.

But she said it hasn’t been enough.

She wants even more protection, something she’s been trying to get for more than a year: a citizen patrol group.

[snip]

HPD helps train neighborhood groups who want to form citizen patrol groups, but lately the police have been too busy.

“I think it’s money; I think it’s not a priority,” said southwest Houston resident Keysha Booker.

Booker is an attorney and lives around the corner.

HPD said citizen’s groups are important, but the department right now is focused on increasing its staff and reducing violent crime first.

“Right now they are saying that they don’t have the manpower for the new classes,” Elie said. “All we can do is wait and hope that is happens soon ... and lock up.”

MayorWhiteChiefHurtt can tout their new acronyms all they want, but unfortunately acronyms are no substitute for cops -- in this case, cops to train citizens to help them fight crime in their neighborhoods. It's unfortunate that dealing with HPD's manpower shortage was not a priority in the first two years of Mayor White's administration.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 02/12/06 07:36 PM | Print |

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