The Houston Police Department is the largest municipal police department in the state of Texas and the fifth largest local law enforcement agency in the United States of America. Located at 1200 Travis Street in downtown Houston, the HPD serves a geographical jurisdictional area of over six hundred square miles. The twenty-eight floor building houses, in addition to the HPD headquarters offices themselves, a crime laboratory spanning three floors, a twenty thousand square foot fitness center, a five thousand square foot voice/data room, a fingerprint laboratory, and a twenty-four hour emergency tactical command center.
The main body of HPD’s work is broken up into three main departments. Strategic Operations is made up of three branches: Homeland Security Command, Professional Development Command, and Staff Services Command. Investigative Operations is comprised of Special Investigations Command, Criminal Investigations Command, and Technology Services. The Special Investigations Command contains the following departments: Auto Theft, Gang, Major Offenders, Narcotics, Vehicular Crimes, and Vice. The Criminal Investigations Command contains the following departments: Burglary and Theft, Homicide, Investigative First Responder, Juvenile, Robbery, and Special Victims. Field Operations contains the patrol services of the HPD, broken down into geographical distinctions: North Patrol Command, East Patrol Command, South Patrol Command, and West Patrol Command.
With a current reported population of nearly 2.2 million residents, Houston is safer than only five percent of US cities according to reported crime rates. Violent crime statistics are currently sitting at 21,703 per annum, with 217 of those being murder (0.10 per 1000 residents), 677 of those being rape (0.31 per 1000 residents), 9,430 of those being robbery (4.33 per 1000 residents), and 11,379 of those being assault (5.23 per 1000 residents). This amounts to an overall violent crime rate of 9.97 per 1000 residents, the national median being 3.9, meaning approximately 1 resident in a hundred is expected to be a victim of a violent crime each year. Property crime is at 109,625 per annum, with 26,804 of those being burglary (12.31 per 1000 residents), 69,698 of those being theft (32.01 per 1000 residents), and 13,123 of those being motor vehicle theft (6.03 per 1000 residents). This amounts to an overall property crime rate of 50.35 per 1000 residents, the national median being 28.6, meaning approximately 1 resident in twenty is expected to be a victim of a property crime each year.
The official Houston Police Department website can be found at www.houstonpolice.org and provides links to a wide variety of useful resources. Statistical information on crime can be accessed directly from HPD’s records through mycity.houstontx.gov/crime/ which offers three formats for viewing crime statistics, all based on the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report coding system. The formats offered are an interactive map showing location based crime information, reports organized by month, and monthly reports organized by street. Information on suspects currently being sought by HPD can be found at houstontx.gov/police/cash_for_crooks.htm. This page contains pictures of persons being sought by law enforcement and provides information on how to provide information to the department to aid in their capture, which in some cases can lead to a cash reward for the assistance.
If a you have a family member or friend who may currently reside in the City of Houston Jail, you can go to mycity.houstontx.gov/jails/ to perform a search for them if they are adults 17 years of age or older. The search form includes fields for first, middle, and last names, date of birth, and arrest number should you have that information available. The name fields will return results based on the characters provided, even if they form an incomplete name, and so, should you be unsure of the exact or correct spelling of an individual’s name, you should only include those letters or letter combinations of which you are sure. Individuals currently incarcerated with the City of Houston Jail system are most likely located at either the Central or Southeast jails and, if your search returns a result for the person you are looking for, the result details will provide location information for you. Information on performing other public information requests can be found at the section of HPD’s website maintained by the Open Records Unit of the Public Affairs Division, which can be located at houstontx.gov/police/public_information.htm. There you will find links to information on how to obtain the most frequent types of requested information.