HOUSTON - On a day when two more detention officers were violently assaulted inside the Harris County Jail, Commissioners approved the transfer of up to 500 inmates to other facilities around the state.
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez called the current situation in the jail "unsustainable."
As the violent crime wave in greater Houston continues unabated Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey made the call for the hiring of 50 additional Deputy constables to patrol underserved neighborhoods.
The cost to taxpayers - $5 million dollars.
"Our top three priorities in Harris County are crime, crime, and crime and the best thing we can do to address crime is get patrol officers working in the neighborhood," said Ramsey.
With bloodshed like the recent Baytown mass shooting becoming more frequent, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle offered his support.
"We are up to now 153 people who are dead because of bail reform and low bond release. We need to get back to the basics. One of the basics of public safety is having enough boots on the ground to take care of the public," said Cagle.
While she ultimately voted in support of the measure, Judge Lina Hidalgo offered push back to the hiring of additional police.
"On the one hand you commit us in perpetuity to a lower budget and on the other hand you commit us to more employees, so I just don't think this is fiscally responsible," said Hidalgo.
Also drawing unanimous support was Commissioner Adrian Garcia's proposal to initiate a crackdown on the mass proliferation of bogus paper license plates - the users of which have cheated the County of funds that could be funneled to crime-fighting.
"The paper plates, just in the toll road alone this year, is recognized in being about an $11 million shortfall," said Garcia.