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10% of Houston’s Police Cases Suspended Due to Staff Shortage

A review of sex crimes cases suspended with an internal code citing a lack of personnel has expanded department-wide to include more than 264,000 cases, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said Monday, the Houston Chronicle reports. The dropped cases makes up about 10% of the department’s 2.8 million filed since 2016, Finner said. About 100,000 of those are property crimes, he wrote. Days after airing his frustration over thousands of adult sex crime cases going unsolved due to staffing, Finner revealed other divisions suspended tens of thousands more investigations for the same reason, ABC13 Houston reports. According to Finner, about 264,000 cases since 2016 were suspended with the "lack of personnel" coding department-wide. The total is 10% of the 2.8 million incidents filed with Houston police in the past eight years.

"We got a problem, and this is one that we may not be able to climb out of, to be honest with you," said Douglas Griffith, Houston Police Officers' Union president. "I feel for the victims in this and I hope over time, I hope we can get this resolved and bring back the trust the public deserves to have." In a statement, Finner wrote, "We are also moving additional personnel to other investigative divisions to address these incident reports involving crimes against persons." Finner claimed the label was a code he first put a stop to in November 2021 but then recently discovered that it was still in use. He said he would answer questions at a yet-to-be-scheduled press conference.


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