CALL 713.222.TIPS (8477)

Sunday Mornings with Rania: Houston, we have a Public Safety Problem

We were discussing “Back to School Safety” on KRBE’s “The Roula and Ryan Show.” During the break, Roula and I reviewed listener comments. A clear majority wanted more information on the Crime Stopper’s Safe School Program but there was one that jumped out at me like a lighthouse in the dark of night . . . it simply read “not interested in the paranoid Crime Stoppers lady.”

Roula brushed over it; I honed in on it.

“Never worry what people think of you,” she said….

I agree and truly don’t care what people think of me. That said, I do care, very deeply, about their thoughts on Crime Stopper’s message of “crime prevention and public safety.”

I left the show wondering about this listener. Was there any way to reach him/her and get them to think about public safety differently? I believe, very seriously, that Houston has a public safety problem and that each of us must, at a minimum, recognize the problem so we can work towards a community solution. We need to be on the proverbial “same page.”

Let the horrific incident in Bellaire last week be a wakeup call. When a young pizzeria employee, a former Bellaire High School teen, is senselessly killed during a robbery at his place of employment, we as a community need to understand what this city is facing and what our response will be. Are we really okay with this happening in our growing city? I know I’m not.

Please remember:

  • We must be embracing and supporting our law enforcement and their partner agencies.
  • We encourage kids to have jobs in the community, as it’s such an enriching, fulfilling experience. If you are a parent of a teen who has a job, just take a moment to talk to your child about crime prevention and public safety. Ask what the store plan is in the case of a robbery. There is never harm in discussing and re-discussing public safety.
  • Create a public safety culture in your home. This means, discuss safety plans as a family. What are the parents’ plan at work? At home? Kids’ plans at school and at work? Please, let’s never wait for the moment we are faced with a tragedy to be the time when we start to devise an exit strategy.
  • If you see a crime actively happening always call 911. If you know of a crime that has already taken place or is being planned, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS and anonymously report what you know. You can also download the free Crime Stoppers of Houston app to easily and anonymously report information. Your identity will never be known and you are eligible for a cash reward. Note: If you’re a business owner who wants more information on how to keep your business safe, please call Crime Stoppers’ administrative office at 713-521-4600.

The Bellaire shooting is another example of why our team wakes up and does this job every day. The team at Crime Stoppers loves their families and loves yours too. We can’t and shouldn’t live in fear, but I am not okay and never will be okay with the fact that this beautiful, wonderful, young life was lost for no reason at all. There are parents mourning and a community grieving… It’s a scene that should have never happened and one we don’t want to see repeated.

We are so thankful to all of you who have taken the proverbial pledge to proactively think of public safety. Let’s be involved, actively, in the solution, together.

Posted by Rania Mankarious on 28 Feb 2016

About the author

Executive Director of Crime Stoppers of Houston