|Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt and Harris County District Attorney Patricia Lykos today (Oct. 28) announced the formation of an investigative division dedicated to protecting families against domestic violence and those who are victims of sex crimes.|
The “Special Crimes Division” was created by HPD to improve
investigative effectiveness and efficiency in addressing violent crimes against families and women. The Division is comprised of the Family Violence Unit and the Sex Crimes Unit, both previously part of the Homicide Division, located at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis.
“We believe this realignment of resources, coupled with additional allocation of personnel, will assist us in our efforts to help people victimized by theses types of violent crimes,” said Chief Hurtt.
Judge Lykos said, "I salute Chief Hurtt and the Houston Police
Department for creating this division that will better serve and protect our citizens. This initiative will reduce violence, ensure compassionate assistance to victims, and enable more effective prosecution of predators,” she added.
The HPD Family Violence Unit offers a decentralized service delivery model that has physical locations housing investigators at four separate police stations.
The Sex Crimes Division is located at 1200 Travis.
Over the past few months, HPD has worked collaboratively with District Attorney Lykos and Sonia Corrales, Vice President of the Houston Area Women’s Center, in an effort to improve response to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
From January through the end of September 2009, there were 10,000
aggravated assaults in Houston and up to 40 percent of those were family violence cases. In the same time period, there were 623 sexual assaults in Houston and up to half of the suspects were known by their victims.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the creation of this division further emphasizes the efforts of HPD to protect those who are victims of this violent crime.