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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
City of Houston
News Release
Friday, January 20, 2012

HOANG, HPD GO DOOR-TO-DOOR TO PREVENT CRIME

District F Council Member Al Hoang went door-to-door with Houston Police officers in a largely Asian neighborhood in his council district that experienced an increased crime rate in 2011. Westside Patrol officers fluent in Vietnamese, Chinese and Spanish joined Hoang to share crime prevention tips and distribute informative pamphlets in those languages.

Hoang believes the increase can be attributed, in part, to language barriers. “Criminals often target non-English speaking residents because they think they will be less likely to report crimes,” he said. “Unfortunately, that is sometimes the case, so we are out here to change that.”

HPD Westside Patrol Captain Michael Skillern said progress has been made in the last 90 days, violent crime is down 22 percent and non-violent crime is down 19 percent. “We noticed the upward trend in this area and have made great strides to lower the crime rate, but we are always looking at ways to do better.”

“Today we have officers here from patrol, who try and stop crime from happening, as well as from the investigative divisions who solve them after the fact. The other large piece of the puzzle is teaching the residents to be ‘harder targets’ for the criminals, thus forcing them to look elsewhere to commit crimes,” he added.

Hoang has organized similar crime prevention block walks in the past which he says have garnered positive results. “Residents really appreciate this positive interaction with officers. By nature, most first encounters with police are negative because officers are either responding to a crime scene, or issuing a traffic citation, so reminding residents that officers are there to serve the public is beneficial for everyone.”

Hoang and HPD hope a visit before Asian Lunar New Year will help to make the coming year a safe and happy one.

Photo 1: Council Member Hoang and Officer Truong knock on doors.
Photo 2: Officers with Westside patrol speak with residents.
Photo 3: Capt. Skillern and Council Member Hoang speak with residents.




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