Houston’s homicide rate surpassed Dallas’ in 2006 for the first time in more than a decade and is now the second-highest among the nation’s largest cities, says the FBI compilation issued yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reports. Only Philadelphia now has a higher homicide rate than Houston on the list of the nation’s 10 largest cities.
Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt is promoting community policing, for which Congress may boost federal aid. David Muhlhausen of the Heritage Foundation disputed the effectiveness of community policing. “Lots of big city police chiefs are upset their mayors and city councils have cut back on their police forces,” he said. “They can’t go and blame their bosses, so they’re blaming Washington for crime increases.” Jerry Dowling, a Sam Houston State University criminal justice professor, said: “Like any other issue, politicians want to do something about crime. Whether it’s effective or not is not oftentimes the gauge.”