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Harris County Attorney's Office
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
County Attorney Ryan Wins Approval for Community Protection Program Extension
Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan today won approval for the extension of his Community Protection Program.
Harris County Commissioners granted a year-long extension to the program that allows the County Attorney to join forces with three management districts to increase civil enforcement to shut down businesses that operate outside the law or allow criminal acts to occur on their premises.
Ryan started the program a year ago with the Greater Sharpstown, Spring Branch and Brays Oaks Management Districts. The districts provide funding for the County Attorney to hire an Assistant County Attorney to focus on quality of life issues in areas covered by the management districts.
Since the program began a year ago, Ryan has taken action against after-hours clubs, hotels, convenience stores and apartment complexes that have become notorious for harboring criminal activity. The County Attorney has negotiated agreements with other business owners for them to take additional steps, such as hiring security guards, to control crime on their property.
“Reducing these businesses that attract criminal activity is a priority for my office,” said County Attorney Ryan. “This program is an innovative way for our office to work with local agencies to fulfill our commitment to help improve neighborhoods.”
La Frontera Sports Bar and Plaza 59, after-hours clubs in the Sharpstown District that were hotbeds for illegal drugs, robberies, aggravated assaults, and other criminal activity, both closed down after Ryan’s office took action.
The County Attorney currently has a lawsuit pending against Le Promenade Condominiums, a 205 unit project located on Bissonet. The lawsuit describes the complex as a hang out for an infamous Houston gang, La Primera. It is a location where they recruit members from adjacent Sharpstown High School. The lawsuit points out that many La Primera members are tattooed with the complex's address (7400). A hearing on that case is set for July 2nd.
David Hawes, the Executive Director for the Greater Sharpstown, Spring Branch and Brays Oaks Management Districts praised the program in a Houston Chronicle op-ed piece as “a public partnership that works.” He said, “We all want to live in communities where businesses are in compliance with the law and are good neighbors.”
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