Houston reaches past 200 homicides this year so far

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — As of Friday morning, HPD has responded to 202 homicides. At the same time last year, there were 148 homicides, a 36% increase year over year.

Despite the increase in homicides in Houston, one area of Harris County has been working to bring down their crime numbers. Community leaders in Greenspoint said it’s been a concerted effort.

On the first Tuesday of every month, members of the community simply walk together for two miles.

“The purpose of it is this, as we’re walking [and] talking, we’re realizing what we’re different in [and] we’re also common in,” said Pastor E.A. Deckard of Greenhouse International Church. “The common thing is for our community to be better. A unified community is a better community.”

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Those who participate in the walks include faith leaders, law enforcement officers, business owners and citizens.

Deckard said the walks began in March. They saw this as an opportunity to unite and educate people.

“If the community comes together and meets the needs, the physical needs, the spiritual needs, the social needs, then that community has the potential to overcome the tragedy of violence,” said Deckard.

Plus, Deckard said his team’s work is proving to be effective. He said they’re seeing less crime in his area, which is a big change.

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“In this community, four years ago, when we first got here, it was labeled as ‘Guns-point,'” said Deckard.

Steve Moore, who owns a dozen apartment complexes in the Greenspoint area called Villa Serena Communities, moved into one of the apartments 10 years ago. He said not long after his move, he was a victim of a crime.

“I had a gun pointed to me. I had an attempted armed robbery in our parking lot,” said Moore, who invested in 300 surveillance cameras and placed them all across his complexes. He said after, that type of crime went down.

“The way to fix the rest of the crime problem is change the hearts and minds of the people,” said Moore.

Moore joins Deckard on the monthly walks and said though it’s a simple thing to do, it’ll make a big difference in the long run.

“You have not heard the reference ‘Guns-point’ in a long time because we have made a committed effort to bring the community together in unity,” said Deckard.

Next week, Deckard is scheduled to meet with HPD Chief Troy Finner to give him a progress report on how things are going in Greenspoint. He said the progress they’ve made can happen in any part of the city by simply walking side-by-side and acknowledging the goal.

“Love never fails. Love has a way of solving all community problems,” said Deckard.

Follow Marla Carter on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

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