Crime Stoppers establishes new research center to help tackle rising homicide rates in Harris County

HOUSTON – Houston Crime Stoppers, along with local law enforcement, announced additional resources on Tuesday to deal with rising homicide rates from several years ago.

To date, more than 600 murders have been recorded in Harris County in 2021, a 70% increase from 2019 numbers.

As Texas’ leading public safety nonprofit, Crime Stoppers has unveiled a new project launching in 2022 to fight crime in Harris County.

At a press conference led by Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman on behalf of all Constable offices, a $10,000 donation was presented to Crime Stoppers of Houston to support the organization’s invaluable efforts in crime prevention. crime solving through the Tip Line program and their vital work in tackling rising homicide rates and the ramifications of discretionary bond reform.

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Watch the full press conference here.

Speakers included Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, Alan Rosen, Harris County Precinct 1 Officer, Adrian Garcia, Harris County Commissioner, Tom Ramsey, Harris County Commissioner, Jack Cagle, Commissioner of Harris County, and Sydney Zuiker, director of the Crime Stoppers Safe Community Institute. Also in attendance were Harris County Constables Ted Heap, Phil Sandlin, Silvia Trevino and Sherman Eagleton, as well as representatives from the Houston Police Department’s Central Station.

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“For 41 years, Crime Stoppers of Houston has stood hand in hand with its partners – law enforcement, elected officials, community members and media – with one goal in mind: the public safety of all. Unfortunately, today the very notion of “public safety” has become political and has created tensions within our communities. There is no longer absolute agreement on what ‘public safety’ means and the real victims of crime are forgotten,” Mankarious said. “Through it all, Crime Stoppers has remained focused on victims and the safety of our community, and we will not stop. We are more than grateful for the support of the Constable offices which will allow us to continue working for the community. »

With this funding, Crime Stoppers is poised to expand its work through its new Institute for Community Safety. which will house an essential research centre. This research center is the first data reporting center of its kind and it has a clearly defined objective: to accurately report on crime trends and public safety data in order to provide the public with a transparent view of the system of Harris County Criminal Justice. Its four main objectives include:

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  • Track violent crime trends from 2015 to see how crime in Harris County has changed since the bond reform vote, as well as the informal changes in bond proceedings that have taken place in the county. Harris.

  • Track crime by city neighborhood and county to identify crime hotspots.

  • Track court proceedings by providing the public with a list of each criminal court judge and the court they preside over, listing magistrates where possible, and identifying the number of cases each court handles throughout the court year, taking into account how COVID-19 has altered court procedures for each specific court.

  • Research and report on specialized issues identified by Crime Stoppers of Houston and the community. Some of these issues could include:

  1. How many defendants charged with capital murder or aggravated robbery have been released on bail or bail.

  2. How many defendants have reoffended after being charged with capital murder or aggravated robbery and have been released on bail or bail.

Crime Stoppers believes that every member of the community has the right to clear, accurate, and unbiased data about the factors affecting their safety, and aims for the Research Center to provide just that.

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Mark M. Gagnon