HPD Officers Inspect Convenience Stores for Safety of All
Last Friday (March 4), Houston police officers from the South Central Patrol Division Differential Response Team (DRT) went store-to-store to ensure convenience stores were in compliance with Houston’s Convenience Store Safety ordinance.
Among the ordinance requirements, convenience stores must have clear views of the register from the outside, have working surveillance cameras and have clerks trained in proper safety techniques.
These steps have made it safer for the store clerks, as well as for the public, HPD Sergeant Mike Hill said. Adopted in 2008, the ordinance was gradually phased in.
“Last year was the first year we had full compliance and HPD visited virtually all 1,500 convenience stores in the city,” Sergeant Hill said. “In 2010, the city saw an overall reduction in crime. But the results were even more dramatic in convenience stores where robberies were down 60 percent,” he said.
The ordinance is particularly effective because it encourages store owners to work with HPD and to be proactive.
“A partnership with the community, in which community members take action to prevent crimes from happening in the first place, makes it safer for everyone,” Sergeant Hill added.
HPD compliance checks occur on a regular basis. Friday’s publicized event was part of the Houston Police Department’s March on Crime campaign. Working together, Houston police officers and the public can help “Keep Houston Safe.”
For more safety information, visit the HPD website at www.houstonpolice.org and click on the “Keep Houston Safe” logo.
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