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Conservatively liberal, moderately well-educated, and highly opinionated...

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

HPD and NOPD - some good news for a change

So - we're all worried about the crime, in both New Orleans and Houston. It's some scary stuff, and to control it (i.e. get the a--holes off the streets and successfully convicted), some changes have to be made in both cities.

The situation in Houston is bad, yes - but it's not nearly as bad as New Orleans will be without some major modifications to the PD before everybody comes home. NOLA has to be made safe, and Chief Riley's early descriptions of changes he wanted to make were not at all encouraging. They were matched by an equally surface-gloss approach recently by Houston's Chief Hurtt, too. Very discouraging.

Happily, this morning brings some brighter news for both beleaguered police departments.

For New Orleans, they're bringing in experts from around the country to design a more regionalized (and standardized) approach. It's still evolving, but like the school situation, they needed to come totally out of the box to solve this. It's a good early sign:

Task force: Rebuild, centralize law enforcement in four parishes

And from the Houston side there's more good news:

HPD offers big bonus to recruit officers

The bonus is a $7,000 incentive for experienced officers to come work in Houston. I hope the entire ~1,000-person shortage gets filled - cuz we need them. That massive shortage in police presence is exactly why Houston got caught "with its pants down" (so to speak) when Katrina smashed NOLA. Houston just didn't have enough law enforcement to cope with the influx of people (and yes, that included a fair number of criminals).

Kinda nice to have some good news for a change, eh?