Houston police chief recruits cops from 'defund' cities

While cities across America work to defund their police departments, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is encouraging officers to come to Texas.

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA

While cities across America work to defund their police departments, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo is encouraging officers to come to Texas.

Acevedo told Fox 26 in Houston "People of Houston, they don't want less policing, they want better policing and well-trained police officers."

Acevedo said that they are "working on a new program that would make it easier for qualified out-of-state police officers to transfer and serve in Houston. This program could involve a 10-week academy course, instead of 6 months."

Last week, in Austin Texas, a blue city in a red state, the city council voted unanimously to cut approximately $150 million from their police department which is roughly a third of their budget.

Acevedo continued "I think it’s ridiculous when you make decisions that are knee-jerk political decisions that are not based on evidence, not based on research. It ends up impacting the safety of American people in Austin."

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner during a Q&A following a press conference Monday responded to questions regarding HPD’s future budget by saying: "People want policing that is sound, accountable, and respectful," said Mayor Turner. "They want public safety. In this city we have about 5,300 police officers, and we've always said that we need at least 600 more."

Democrat controlled cities across the country have been working to defund their police departments including Baltimore, Portland, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, Milwaukee, Chicago.

Other cities are rolling back approved expansions of police funding. Dallas, Texas City Councilman Casey Thomas told Axios that advocates may not get the full reallocation from police this year, due to the short time frame for the budget process. "Nevertheless, he said, 'In the event that you don't get what you want, stay engaged and stay involved.'"

Seattle talk radio host Kirby Wilbur recently posted to Facebook: "…we visited a sales office today in a new residential development where the sales person told us that two Seattle police officers have been in recently looking for homes in the Melissa Texas area."

The Seattle City Council recently voted to defund over 100 officer positions in that city. Even before the defunding, there was a mass exodus of officers from SPD to other police departments. Neighboring police forces are mostly  at full capacity while SPD is operating at below safe standards for a city of that size.

Concern is growing that liberal voters fleeing California may turn the traditionally red state of Texas purple or blue. According to The Economist "Between 2007 and 2016 a net 1m American residents, or 2.5 percent of the state's population, left California for another state. Texas was the most popular destination, attracting more than a quarter of them. More Americans have left California than moved there every year since 1990, though immigrants still arrive from abroad."

Californians cited the cost of living, as well as high taxes and red tape, as the reasons for the exodus.

According to a 2020 Texas Relocation Report published by Texas Realtors, 86,164 people moved from California to Texas in 2018, an increase of 36 percent from the year before.

In an interview with Fox News, former California Assemblyman Chuck Devore referenced data showing an increase of Californians moving to Texas, saying a lot of California conservatives are "grateful" that there is a state like Texas to move to.

"Trump won Texas by nine points in 2016," he continued. "We found that among natives, he was supported by plus seven, but if you moved to Texas, you supported Trump by plus 12. So we’re seeing a conservative migration mostly to Texas."

Devore continued: "It's a middle-class migration," he noted. "You have a lot of entrepreneurs. A lot of people who are grateful that there was a Texas to which to flee to."

Though the political future of Texas is debatable, Chief Acevedo had a message for experienced and qualified officers. "I will just say to police officers in Austin, and the good police officers across the country, come to Houston," said Chief Acevedo.


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