Crime Stoppers’ First-Ever State of Public Safety Event Featured Powerful Statements, Impassioned Pleas for Action, and the Roll-Out of the New “Houston Crime Index”
HOUSTON (June 22, 2022) – The region’s top law enforcement leaders – including Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Police Department Executive Chief Matt Slinkard, and three of the area’s eight elected constables – joined Crime Stoppers of Houston, State Senator John Whitmire, local business icon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, and the family of slain nine-year-old Arlene Alvarez this morning in a bipartisan appeal for unity and action fighting violent crime in our area.
Gathering under the auspices of Crime Stoppers’ first-ever State of Public Safety press conference, the hour-long event featured a wide-ranging discussion on the effects of violent crime and some of the causes of the current issues – including discretionary felony bond reforms where repeat violent offenders are released into the community, gun violence, and case backlog.
“Public safety is important to everyone in this, or any, community – and Crime Stoppers of Houston has been supporting local law enforcement for over 40 years,” said Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious. “This work has arguably never been more important, and speaking for our entire team we are all in – committed to working with the law enforcement leaders with us today, and those who could not be here, on this vital public safety mission.”
Mankarious noted that, just over the last nine years, the organization had assisted over 170 different law enforcement agencies in solving over 4,000 crimes.
The day’s most somber notes were sounded by Crime Stoppers’ Director of Victim Services and Advocacy Andy Kahan, who noted the overflowing attendance he is now seeing – for the first time in 20 years – at the Parents of Murdered Children meetings hosted monthly at Crime Stoppers. Kahan also referenced the 175 cases he has documented since 2018 of people murdered by defendants releases on multiple bonds, PR bonds or bond forfeiture.
“If we do not come together as a community to fight violent crime, we will not have a community,” said Senator John Whitmire. “Every elected official at every level has to recognize we have a problem – you can’t solve a problem if you won’t admit we have one. We have a problem in Houston – and the citizens know it. The public is demanding us coming together, and going to work, and quit the political games.”
“The impressive showing here today speaks to the fact that Crime Stoppers is a part of the solution to violent crime,” added Harris County Sherriff Ed Gonzalez. “We’re all here because they’ve been a trusted crime-fighting partner in our community for more than 40 years – providing valuable tips that lead to the arrest of serious offenders, and also supporting families and victims of violent crime.”
Today’s event also featured the roll-out of a new “Houston Crime Index,” which publishes crime data under the Crime Stoppers’ recently created Glenda Gordy Research Center. The first phase of this new Index was announced today and starting this Fall will be updated monthly. The crime data shared today showed an increase in children killed due to gun violence, decreases in sexual and homicide offenses while aggravated assaults levels were relatively unchanged. View in full at www.crime-stoppers.org/the-glenda-gordy-research-center.
The unified show of support ended with powerful words of encouragement and call for action from local business icon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale: “Why can’t Harris County be the safest County in Texas versus the deadliest? In Houston and Texas we do things big. We thought big for 150 years. Houston put a man on the moon, why can’t we stop crime? I think that every neighborhood needs to be the safest neighborhood in Houston… so we need to call on everybody to help make Harris County the safest County in the Country.”
- Crime Stoppers CEO Rania Mankarious
- Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services Andy Kahan
- Crime Stoppers Director of Safe Community Institute Sydney Zuiker
- State Senator John Whitmire
- Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg
- “Mattress Mack” Jim McIngvale
- Houston Police Department Executive Chief Matt Slinkard
- Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
- Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen
- Houston Police Officer’s Union President Doug Griffith
- Tony Leal of PPI Security, former Chief of the Texas Rangers
- Family of Slain 9 Year-Old Arlene Alvarez – Mother Gwen Alvarez, Father Armando Alvarez and Aunt April Aguirre
- Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman
- Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap
- Ray Hunt, Houston Police Officer’s Union Executive Director
- Crime Stoppers Board Members Sheridan Williams, Jennifer Hohman, Justin Vickrey, Hazem Ahmed,
- Maha Khan, Ricardo Nazario, Beth Arlington and Jonathan Zadok.
- Community Volunteer Genny McIntyre
- Dr. Sherif Zaafran with US Anesthesia Partners
- Tena Faust and Tama Lundquist with Houston PetSet
- Amy Smith, Harris County Domestic Violence Coordinating Council
For more information about Crime Stoppers of Houston and crime prevention programs, visit www.crime-stoppers.org.
Posted byon 27 Jun 2022