Houston has attempted to stem the rising tide of homicides by creating the “One Safe Houston” program. With a $53 million price tag, the program consists of adding over 100 officers during the day and providing them with enhanced tools, such as technology and intervention training. The city also bought back guns, spending roughly $1 million to get 800 firearms off the street.
Unfortunately, as ABC 13 reports, the program hasn’t worked as intended. Indeed, the homicide rate in our city continues to climb. More people are losing their lives, particularly to gun violence, and there is no reason to suspect the numbers will level off as we head toward the end of 2022.
No Easy Answers
In 2021, the city saw 267 homicides by August, which was a jump from the 205 the city saw to that point in 2020. Thus far in 2022, however, Houston has already recorded 279 homicides. This number represents a major increase compared to only two years ago—an increase of roughly 40%.
Although city officials claim the “One Safe Houston” program is working, residents obviously feel differently. Some complained to ABC that they have never felt as unsafe in Houston as they do now. For their part, law enforcement has complained about low staffing levels and believes the low starting salary is an obstacle to getting enough officers on the street.
The rise in homicides is puzzling since other violent crimes like rape and robbery are down year over year. We would expect those to rise along with homicides.
Why a Rising Homicide Rate Matters
If you’ve been accused of a crime, you might not think that Houston’s rising homicide rate really matters. But it does. Crime is big news, and media outlets often stoke fear in the public that a crime wave is swelling. The public naturally wants to keep crime as low as possible, and they put pressure on elected officials to do whatever it takes to bring the crime rate down.
District attorneys are not immune to this pressure. Instead, they usually publicly commit to throwing all of their weight behind getting dangerous criminals off the street. As we have seen, however, prosecutors sometimes bring charges against innocent people. Even if they aren’t entirely sure the suspect is guilty, they don’t want to appear soft on crime.
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we know how to fight back against overzealous prosecutors. After all, our founder Tad Nelson worked as a prosecutor himself, so he understands the pressures they face. He also knows that some indictments rest on shaky evidence. Maybe a person identified you as the suspect when they couldn’t really see well. Or you were picked up by police because someone close to you was involved in the crime. If there are holes in the state’s case against you, we can find them.
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We offer a free consultation to discuss your arrest and the charges you face. Contact us to schedule a time that is convenient.