Prioritizing Houston’s Public Safety

Two events have shaken the nation this past week. The events were different in nature, and while the causes might take a while yet to uncover, the underlying reminders could not be more glaring.

Boston, Massachusetts and West, Texas saw mayhem unfold, unexpectedly and quickly. In both instances, first responders played huge roles in aiding the wounded, the shaken and the scared. It also appears that some first responders did not escape harms way, for those brave souls we offer our thanks along with our prayers.

These facts cannot be lost on those of us in Houston. We are the nation’s fourth largest city. We are a city worthy of world class police and fire departments. This is not to say we do not have world class policemen and fire fighters right now, but we should have the highest of aspirations for these forces, and we should look to always maintain top status. Houston is a growing city, we have more and more people moving into the same geographic region on a daily basis. You do not have to spend much time on the roadways of Houston to know this is true. Safe, protected communities are good for the economy and good for future growth.

As Houston transitions from the fourth largest city to possibly the third, Houston must be prepared for the future. We must always make sure that we have plenty of personnel on the front lines ready to respond. We must insure that our front line public servants have the equipment and training they need to deliver the best possible results.

In tough times, we have to watch budgets and control spending. In tough times, pet projects should take a back seat to the most important functions of local, city government. We must prioritize the items before the city council; while the Mayor spent time making sure homeless people were not being fed by citizens, reducing spending was not on the agenda. While the council was implementing a new unconstitutional pole tax on local business patrons, they were cutting city revenue by hindering local business owners.

The events this week should remind us that we must make our best efforts to increase public safety and protect our community, because . . . .COMMUNITY COMES FIRST.