Office of the Governor - Greg Abbott

Governor Abbott Announces Action To Combat Violent Crime & Gang-Related Activity In Harris County

Monday, April 10, 2017  •  Austin, Texas  •  Press Release
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Governor Greg Abbott today held a press conference in Houston where he announced a new operation to crack down on the alarming rise and brutality of gang-related violent crime in Houston and Harris County. During the press conference, the Governor expressed concern about the double-digit growth in the violent crime rate in Houston and in Harris County and laid out his plan to take action in collaboration with the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies.

“This recent wave of senseless violence cannot continue,” said Governor Abbott. “Government’s foremost responsibility is to keep our citizens safe and secure. Texas will take action and use all lawful means to put an end to this lawlessness.”

To help combat this wave of gang-related violence, Governor Abbott is immediately directing state resources to a violent crime reduction operation in Harris County.

  • Establish a Tactical Operations Center in Houston to enhance and coordinate operations around the clock.
  • Provide $500,000 in new funding from the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division to increase Texas Anti-Gang Center resources in the Houston area.
  • Deploy additional Texas Rangers and DPS Special Agents to support local law enforcement.
  • Deploy added technology, including air assets and patrol unit tracking, to enhance timely collection and analysis of intelligence

Harris County crime statistics:

  • In 2016 alone, the Harris County violent crime rate, including murder, rape, robbery and assault, increased by more than 10 percent
  • Harris County has the highest population of repeat serial violent offenders in Texas
  • There are more gangs and gang members in Harris County than any other county in the state
  • Currently over 20,000 gang members, belonging to at least 300 gangs in the region