Press Release: The Houston Chronicle today exposed the magnitude of HPD’s staffing and funding problems in the piece “DNA not just for homicides anymore.”
In the article, Chief Hurtt is quoted, “I’m so frustrated with the whole process. We find a problem, we find a solution, and…everybody says, this is important. We have to do it. However, it doesn’t seem to be a priority. And we’re not going to be able to do this for free.”
“It is refreshing and sad at the same time to finally hear the chief of police explain how very serious funding needs are ignored. During this campaign season, we have heard Ms. Annise Parker talk about her insider experience and prowess as it relates to audits and knowing how to make this work,” said HPOU President Gary Blakinship.
Parker is aware that our department is at least 1,500 officers understaffed. She has known about the crime lab problems and has had six years to conduct audits and expose the problems associated with such an important component of what HPD is suppose to do to insure justice.
“The problems have remained the same and we have 1,664 officers eligible for retirement today and Ms. Parker is on record saying she will not cut or increase HPD’s budget. In reality her plan to do nothing is indeed a cut. Demands for HPD service continues to increase and the citizens of our city need to know that HPD will continue to be there for them,” said Blakinship.
“The business of running a major international city and funding a first-class law enforcement agency requires vision and decisiveness to do what is right to make the city safe. Doing nothing is not an option,” continued Blankinship.
“Ms. Parker has enjoyed taking credit for all the good and distancing herself for political reasons from the bad. The fact is, she has been right there in the mix as delaying decisions have been executed and she can’t have it both ways, concluded Blankinship.