HPD officers continue to work with the officers of S.E.A.L. Security contracted by the District to maintain an active law enforcement presence and to deter crime In the Five Corners District.
At the December meeting of the board of directors, S.E.A.L. Operations Supervisor Paul Reese gave an updated report on his team’s activities in the area. This included responding to reports of: suspicious persons in the neighborhoods, vagrants in an abandoned hospital on Fuqua, a disoriented male found walking on the highway who was transported to Ben Taub Hospital, vehicle collisions, and stolen vehicles.
Reese also reported that there has been a major slowdown of prostitution activities due to the use of cameras on specifically targeted properties.
HPD Officer and Analyst Carl Noon of the Southwest Patrol/Beechnut Crime Analysis unit gave a detailed report on patterns and trends within the District, debunking other studies that use crime statistics incorrectly. For instance, Noon said he was able to immediately disprove the data that purportedly showed the Sunnyside/Acres Homes neighborhood as being one of the top 10 in the nation for criminal activity.
Noon’s report to the Five Corners board said that previous studies used the FBI’s UCR system of recording and categorizing crimes, which is different from how Houston and the State of Texas designate crimes under the Texas Penal Code.
“…proves what we have been saying all along, our community is one of the safest in Houston. We just have to get the word out there and help dispel the notion that crime in SW Houston is higher than average because that simply isn’t true.” — Allen Goodlow, Director of Services
“As a result, they lump thefts from vehicles in with residential burglaries,” Noon wrote. “This categorization hyper-inflated the area’s burglary rate. Since about 2006, the burglary rate of residences and commercial buildings is down more than 30 percent and, in some cases compared to previous years, it is down by nearly half.”
“I also found that they based the ratings on all police events, including calls for service that range from disturbances to accidents to 9-1-1 hang-up calls,” he added. “HPD’s documented crime data tells a different story.” The area actually presents a brighter picture when compared to other police beats around the city, coming in 51st in aggravated assaults, 36th in murders, 35th in robberies, and 73rd in reported sexual assaults, he wrote.
A new HPD Chief, George Buenik, was also introduced to the board at the meeting, and he reported on a recent raid on a human trafficking operation wherein HPD assisted federal officers in making arrests.