The Houston Chronicle reports that there is data showing that crime is “outpacing” Houston officers. Well, that is not exactly the problem.
Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union said, We have to learn to work smarter and try to use technology a little bit more.” That is not the problem either.
As a taxpayer, it is frustrating to see the Houston Police Department budget has increased from 480 million in 2004 to 680 million today, without increasing the number of police officers. So where is all of that money going? The article does not state it, but there is a large portion going to overtime for officers sitting in municipal traffic courts and misdemeanor county courts in Harris County.
Houston ranks as one of the highest in the nation for violent crime and is number one in Texas. That is not good for anyone. Yet, HPD whines about a lack of manpower and a skimpy budget as excuses for this spike in crime. All the while, there is no oversight in non-violent divisions. I assure you the officers in the HPD Vice Squad – which investigates prostitution and other petty crimes – have a full day ahead of themselves. Supported by our taxpayer dollars, undercover HPD Vice Squad officers will be getting full-body massages at Houston-area “spas” and trying to get young Asian and Latina women to agree to have sex with the officers. (Seriously! Houston cops actually spend their time doing this, and so do Harris County Sheriff’s deputies! Sometimes undercover officers will persistently nag a woman to agree to have sex for a fee, despite that the women often repeatedly tell them “no”. Some of these undercover cops will spend up to an hour getting their naked bodies massaged, claiming it is necessary, in order to make a “bust” for one of their “sting” operations.) To top it off, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office enthusiastically accepts prostitution charges, even in cases when the police officers don’t even bother to video tape the “encounter” or even audio tape the alleged conversation between the undercover cop and the woman giving the massage.
But not to worry. There will always be plenty of Houston police officers stationed around Houston to catch people for driving with expired inspection stickers.