With deaths from violent crimes seemingly happening every other day in the city, Houston leaders revealed how they're putting into place recommendations made by a task force formed in the wake of 2020's unrest after George Floyd's death.
On Thursday, April 29, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Chief Troy Finner outlined the steps their implementing to reform the police department going forward, especially when it comes to accountability of the city's law enforcement.
Here are some of the key implementations Turner announced:
- A ban of "no-knock" warrants;
- A new online portal for complaints from the public, which will be viewed and addressed by a full-time staff;
- New timeline rules to release bodycam footage following critical incidents;
- Police transparency online dashboard that shows key statistics, including those involving traffic stops and use of force;
- Instituting "Safe Harbor" initiatives that would allow courts to hand down alternative punishments to those who can't afford to pay fines;
- And, expanding the partnership between HPD and mental health services when it comes to the response with vulnerable populations.
The city of Houston introduced new online portals to submit crimes and a dashboard that accounts for statistics of high interest, including the use of force by officers.
Change in the way Houston addressed violent crimes has not just been an administrative goal, especially after a 2020 that counted more than 400 deaths from murders.