HARRIS COUNTY – By a vote of 5-0, Harris County Commissioners Court approved an item presented by Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia which adds $3 million to the Sheriff Department’s budget to fight specific aspects of violent crime. Remaining Federal CARES Act money is being used to fund this initiative. The funds will be used to protect victims and reduce violent crime, stemming from the pandemic.
The additional $3 million will be restricted to the following areas of investigation:
“While others’ rhetoric on crime usually focuses on making political statements solely to sell fear, I’d rather my office concentrate on action. All too often, the loudest voices you hear on TV would prefer to see themselves acting tough on the 10 o’clock news, rather than do the hard work that actually might make a difference,” said Commissioner Adrian Garcia. “I choose to invest in programs that will actually keep people safe and hold evil-doers accountable. This is a smart use of these funds and even though the full extent of this plan can’t be captured with three words on a posterboard, I’m glad to have sponsored the item.”
“Fallout from the pandemic has driven a surge in violent crime across America, and Harris County has not been immune,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “As residents struggle with job loss, evictions, and the everyday stress of pandemic life, we have documented a significant rise in domestic violence, child abuse, murder, and other violent crimes. So far, our proactive anti-crime efforts have helped us avoid the major outbreaks of violence that other jurisdictions have reported. I’m grateful to Commissioner Adrian Garcia and the entire Commissioners Court for giving our deputies the support they need to prevent violence and thoroughly investigate these cases to keep our county safe.”
The plan of action to utilize these funds will be to use recent crime data to identify dangerous hotspots where caseloads are high and staff shortages are most pronounced. Violent Crimes Units will prioritize investigations of repeat offenders and organized criminal activity. In addition, the Adult Special Crimes Unit will identify domestic abuse suspects who have not been captured as well as Adult Sex Crimes investigations. The Sheriff’s Office will produce reports documenting investigations, charges filed, number of closed cases, and warrants executed during the life of this initiative.