You see them on the news all the time, murder after murder, after murder. It's hard to tell if things are getting better or worse until you have the numbers. Well now we have the early ones.
In 2015, there were 298 murders in Houston. In 2016, there were 290, that’s relatively flat. By this day last year, there were 157 murders. As of today there have been 125 murders. That's a twenty percent drop.
This comes on the same day that the announcement that federal state and local law enforcement agencies are teaming up to fight crime around the Greater Houston area by targeting violent offenders. The plan is to boost prosecution and investigations but also training and community outreach.
An HPD spokesperson says it's too early to tell what is behind the current drop in the murder rate. But HPD Chief Art Acevedo, who has been on the job about six months, says he's happy about the drop.
“Which is a good thing because as bad as violent crime is, the only thing that you can never come back from is murder so those are down so far and so are traffic deaths.”
But it’s not time for HPD to be popping champagne corks yet. HPD says those are preliminary numbers that could change if crimes get reclassified. Another important thing to note is that the year is not over yet.