Mayoral Candidate Turner Says Houston Needs 540 More Cops, Community Policing

Call it a measure of commitment.

HPD's Union Chief  Ray Hunt carefully introducing the young son of a fallen officer to the longtime state lawmaker who hopes to lead the city.

 "I know your father would be proud of you," said State Representative Sylvester Turner.

 It came on a day Turner laid out his plan to hire 540 more cops.

"If we don't bring in new officers and bring them in now, the city becomes less safe," said Turner.

  $85 million is the cost - a 5 year financial commitment requiring the City to lift it's revenue cap. 
Turner says force expansion is worth the investment and would give HPD the manpower necessary to initiate tension easing "community policing".

 "To get in communities now, to build positive relationships now, to strengthen the trust between community and law enforcement now and I think it will prevent a whole lot of things from occurring down the road," said Turner referencing "flash points" in other American cities.

HPD's rank and file chose to strongly endorse Turner over fellow law officer Adrian Garcia who once served in their department before election to City Council and County Sheriff.

"We looked at who is the very best person that should be the next mayor and CEO of this City and it was a unanimous decision in our PAC committee for Representative Turner," said Hunt.

  "This is a diverse city. So you can be a law enforcement officer, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are going to bring the diversity of this city together," said Turner in reference to Garcia.

Turner says a third of current HPD officers are eligible for retirement, underscoring the need to hire more police.