HPD: Crime Rate Down; Number of Cops Soon Will Be Too

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Goin' down.
On a day when KHOU reported as many as 181 cops may be laid off due to budget constraints, HPD announced that crime rates have dropped again in Houston.

Total crime in the first quarter of 2011 dropped 14.2 13.4 percent from the first quarter of 2010, HPD said. (Note: HPD later sent out a corrected announcement on the percentage decrease. The 14.2-percent figure was per-capita crime.)

Violent crime is down by 10 percent and murder by a third, according to stats. There are slight rises in aggravated assaults and rapes.

"I have to highlight the tremendous job that our patrol officers, investigators and support staff have done in reducing crime in the city," HPD Chief Charles A. McClelland Jr. said in the release. "We know that we don't control all the factors when it comes to crime, but the factors that we do control, we did a very good job."

McClelland cited a new program as helping to cut the rate.

"One of the things that helped us with that is our 24/7 Crime Center," he said. "The Crime Center has been instrumental in relaying crime trends and hot spots to patrol stations in order to deploy officers in the most strategic and efficient manner."

Motor-vehicle burglaries are down by more than 16 percent and house burglaries by 14 percent, HPD said.

So who needs all those extra cops?

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