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Houston Getting $10M to Hire 50 More Police

Houston Getting $10M to Hire 50 More Police

Mayor Annise Parker, along with HPD Assistant Chief Michael Dirden, right, and other officers, discusses the city's plans for the new officers. "We will spend these dollars wisely," she said. AP

The Houston Chronicle via YellowBrix

October 01, 2010

HOUSTON – The city will receive nearly $10 million from the Department of Justice to hire 50 additional police officers, a lifeline to the Houston Police Department at a time when the city’s budget crunch has limited the number of new officers in recent years.

Houston was one of only five cities in the United States to receive three years of funding for 50 police officers, the maximum allowed in the federal grant program.

“We will spend these dollars wisely, continuing the strict fiscal stewardship that has kept Houston from having to follow other major cities in furloughing or laying off police during these tough economic times,” Mayor Annise Parker said in a written statement.

The Justice Department announced in Houston nearly $300 million in grants to fund 1,388 law enforcement positions all over the country through its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

Last year, the city was shut out of the COPS hiring program, which issued $1 billion in grants through the federal stimulus package. The city had applied for $50 million in that round of funding. Former Mayor Bill White sharply criticized the decision and said Houston was being penalized for its strong financial position compared with other areas.

In fiscal 2010, which ended June 30 of this year, no new police officers graduated from the academy. Nearly 139 are expected to graduate this year, including 67 Thursday night.

The city is expected to fund just two academy classes in fiscal 2011 and 2012, compared with seven classes each in fiscal 2008 and 2009.

Gary Blankinship, president of the Houston Police Officers Union, noted that the department has an estimated 2.3 or 2.4 police officers per 1,000 Houstonians, far lower than the average per capita staffing of the nation’s other most populous cities.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” he said. “Hopefully, in three years, this economy will have turned around and we’ll be in much better shape than we are now.”


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  • Tigerstripe_002_max50

    Daysend

    almost 4 years ago

    902 Comments

    Good for houston, great maybe now they'll give my friend that martial arts contract =)

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    almost 4 years ago

    11194 Comments

    Good news for the people of Houston !!

  • shadow_officer

    almost 4 years ago

    8572 Comments

    they need it

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Three years from now, when the grant is done with, and if the economy is still bad, how are the new officers going to be paid?? Just curious.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Good for my brother and sisters of the Thin Blue Line in the HPD.

  • Lakewood_pd_max50

    mudpuppynj

    almost 4 years ago

    384 Comments

    Good for Houston.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    almost 4 years ago

    14618 Comments

    While I am glad to see this money going for a worthy cause and something that we need, is it really the Federal Governments job to give Federal Tax moneys to cities? Do not get me wrong as this is worthwhile and one hellofa lot better than 99.9% of these other grants given by the Feds, still it is not the Feds job to do this. Maybe if the feds spent Federal Tax money on only those things that they are required to by the Constitution and then divide the rest and give it to the States to distribute, we would not be in the mess we are.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Almost every agency in the greater Houston area is hurting to fill positions. When the new mayor was running for election, she said she would push for shared calls for all agencies who have concurrent jurisdictions in Houston such as all 8 Constable Precincts (county agencies), the Sheriffs Office (also county), Houston Metro PD (transit), the college campus police departments, and HISD Police (school district). She never followed up on it when she came "to power." I guess she got more money for the city this way...and egos didnt get hurt...

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    almost 4 years ago

    3614 Comments

    At least this is my tax dollars well spent.

  • 1979_max50

    Robocop33

    almost 4 years ago

    14618 Comments

    Damn, that's $200,000.00 per Officer! Great pay!

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