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Crime Indicators: Law Enforcement Officers

According to a report by KHOU-TV, the Houston Police Officer’s Union asserts that the staffing of the police department has not been keeping up with the City of Houston’s growth. In the midst of high retirement rates (40 percent eligible to retire), small recruiting classes, and lack of cover for police officers who cannot make it to work on a given day, the Union President Ray Hunt claims that the department is “sorely understaffed” (Barr, 2014). More below…
In order to implement a proactive enforcement effort and perhaps make up for the lack of officers, the Houston Police Department initiated the “Keep Houston SAFE” campaign in the City of Houston. A citywide public safety campaign, the main goal is aimed at reducing the number of criminal incidents. However, according to the Houston Police Department, the campaign requires the active participation of all members of the community. In this way, they seek to collaborate with the public in their efforts to not only defeat crime, but to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and hence stop criminal activity before it begins.

The city of Dallas similarly initiated a campaign entitled “Safer Dallas Better Dallas” in 2005, albeit one focused more on the role of police officers than on citizens. As part of the initiative, the Dallas Police Department sought to identify the zones in the city where people are most likely to be victimized, and in turn equipped the DPD with the necessary tools to attack crime in those concentrated areas. According to Police Chief David Brown, “…the boots on the ground along with other strategies, technologies and our ability to engage neighborhoods, have been the most significant thing we’ve done to reduce crime” (SD, 2014). Thus, while many factors contribute to the safety of a given region, the staffing and training of a competent police force appears to play a major role in the rate of crimes committed.
Sources cited

Alice Barr, “Union: Houston police staffing has not kept up with city’s growth,” KHOU 11 News, April 25, 2014, Retrieved from: http://www.khou.com/news/local/Union-Houston-police-staffing-has-not-kept-up-with-citys-growth-256778811.html.

“About Us,” Safer Dallas, Accessed 2014, Retrieved from: http://saferdallas.com/about-us/.