Houston Crime Stoppers Unveils Safe Community Institute

The institute will be headed by director Sydney Zuiker, who says the new research center will be the first of its kind.

HOUSTON – Crime Stoppers of Houston on Tuesday unveiled the Safe Community Institute, which will be home to the organization’s Safe Community program, the “Balanced Voice” podcast and its new research center.

The institute will be headed by director Sydney Zuiker, who says the new research center will be the first of its kind.

“He has a clearly defined goal,” Zuiker said. “To accurately report crime trends and public safety data so that the public has a transparent view of the criminal justice system in Harris County.” “

Zuiker then outlined the four main goals of the research center.

“First, we will be following violent trends from 2015 to see how crime has changed since the bond reform vote as well as the informal changes to bail procedures in Harris County,” Zuiker said. .

“Second, we will be tracking crime by city district and county constituency to identify crime hot spots. As we examine specific areas of crime and crime trends, we will also present the approaches of regional council members and commissioners to public safety. “

“Third, we will monitor court proceedings by providing the public with a list of each judge of criminal jurisdiction and the court they preside over, listing magistrates where possible and identifying the number of cases each court holds each year. , taking into account how covid-19 impacted legal proceedings for each specific court. “

“Fourth and finally, we will research and report on the specialized issues identified by these people and by you, the members of the community. “

Zuiker said the research center will aim to be an unbiased and accurate source of information that will be accessible to all members of the community.

“Today is a historic opportunity for Crime Stoppers as we establish the safe community institute,” Zuiker said.

Houston Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarios said she hopes the institute will come into effect by the end of March.

Here is the full announcement:

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According to Crime Stoppers, 2021 saw a 70% increase in murders in Harris County compared to 2019.

“We have seen an increase in violence across the country, of course COVID-19 has exacerbated a lot of that,” Mankarios said in a press release. “We have seen people switch to violence much faster than in the past, we know there is a slight increase in gang activity, drugs and domestic violence.”

Among those involved in today’s announcement are Mankarious, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, among others.

Mark M. Gagnon