HOUSTON- Nearly seven months after the Houston Police Department described family violence as an epidemic plaguing the city, a pilot program being tested in southwest Houston is having success.
"It’s been a big plus so far. We’ve got to keep on going with it," said HPD Captain Mike Faulhaber.
A series of 11 questions make up a domestic violence lethality assessment. Police officers use it when questioning victims of family violence. Officers then compare the answers to determine if the offender is a future risk to the family, police and/or the community.
"So the lethality assessment helped us gauge those that pose as a risk," said Captain Faulhaber. "But our domestic violence initiative is the next step."
Officers in the westside division targeted the top 10 apartment complexes known for family violence. Officers pass out information on how people can keep from being a victim or how to escape more violence.
Since July 2018, HPD has tracked a 16% drop in family violence at those 10 locations. So, they're targeting the next 10 complexes, and tracking a 10% drop in calls as well.
"But, I would like to think, just like with any crime prevention measure, the more you push it, the more you get it out there, the more you keep it in front of them, the more success you’re going to have," said Faulhaber.
Houston police are working to streamline the program. It will be tested by other divisions with the hope that it rolls out to the entire department sometime in 2019.