By Indira Zaldivar & Edward Saenz
With public safety as the new Houston Mayor John Whitmire’s “highest” priority, Whitmire discussed the strategies and areas to improve in his public safety action plan during a meeting in the Crime Stoppers Building with Houston Police Department and the Sheriff’s Harris County Office on Jan. 4
“Nothing is more important in my administration than public safety,” Whitmire said.
Collaboration amongst the different law enforcement departments in the city and county, is an area needing improvement, according to the city’s 63rd mayor.
“We have a lot of law enforcement in Harris County,” he said. “We just have to get them to collaborate, talk with each other, and share resources.”
Whitmire also mentioned tapping into relationships with legislators in the Texas State Capitol to obtain more funding to get more police officers on the streets, ease the admission process, improve the morale of police officers, and increase support for the Air Support Unit to combat patrol crashes during high-speed pursuits.
Reducing the backlog in the court systems is another of his promises that he said will be eased with the three new felony courts that Harris County opened in Court systems in late 2023. He also said that he wants to speed up the court process specifically in the forensics department.
“Our forensics are taking way too long to do examinations and listing tests to get people ready for court,” Whitmire said.
In the top priority of court cases, Whitmire listed repeat violent offenders and people charged with murder and capital murder.
“There’s no higher priority than to get repeat violent offenders off the streets of Houston and hold them accountable in court.”