HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In a series of ONLY ON FOX reports, we told you about parolees who commit new crimes or remove their monitoring devices and are not sent back to prison.
On Tuesday, Houston’s top cop announced the results of his promise to crack down on parolees who fail to follow the rules.
Officers with the Houston Police Department and several other are law enforcement agencies have now arrested 164 parole violators.
The question now: What does the Texas Department of Criminal Justice plan to do with them?
“When people are not complying with the terms and conditions of their parole, that doesn't mean they’ve been hanging out in church finding God,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
It probably means they’ve been finding trouble.
Let’s face it, parolees who won’t follow the terms of their early release from prison aren't likely to follow the law of the land.
“We need to have an effective mechanism to go after parolees, especially violent parolees who do not adhere to the conditions of their parole,” Acevedo said.
Last September 14, Acevedo promised to do just that. The chief formed a parole violator task force for the greater Houston area made up of officers with 16 area law enforcement agencies.
In just a little over two months, the task force has arrested 164 parole violators.
“We had a parole violator, he admitted to sexual assault,” said Sergeant Masden with the Waller County Sheriff’s Department. “He also did theft of a firearm of this young lady.”
“Our team picked up parole violators wanted for everything from murder all the way down to theft of firearms,” said Capt. Kirk Bonsal with the Precinct 3 Constable's Office.
Another dangerous issue police keep seeing here -- violent parolees ditching their electronic monitoring devices to commit new crimes, including murder.
Now HPD will be notified immediately when parolees under super intensive supervision take off or destroy their tracking devices.
“We want parolees to know that this isn’t the region, these aren’t the counties, these aren’t the cities where you’ll be able to violate the conditions of parole,” Acevedo said.
“You get right down to it, it’s a quality of life issue. You’re taking these bad guys out of these neighborhoods. It’s a better place for families," Bosnal said.
Keep in mind, the parole violators picked up who aren’t facing new criminal charges will have their fate decided by the parole board.
Parole board members could decide to take no action on the violations, meaning many of them could be right back out on the street in no time.