Ironic Twist to Solving Crime
by: Pat Hernandez, December 10, 2009 9:12:03 pm
Crime Stoppers of Houston is the most productive organization of its kind in Texas, but executive director Katherine Cabaniss says she was surprised when Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia presented her with a check in the amount of a half-million dollars.
"This is the largest receipt of funds in a lump sum that Crime Stoppers has ever had in its 28-year history."
She says there is an irony in the funds presented.
"These are asset forfeiture funds, funds that are seized from criminals, the proceeds of criminal activity. What is so ironic and wonderful, is that these funds will now be used by Crime Stoppers to take other felons off the streets."
Through October, arrests that resulted from tips to Crime Stoppers have surpassed last year's total. Cabaniss says that's thanks in part to Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, and his doubling the number of deputies assigned to the Crime Stoppers law enforcement detail.
"Sheriff Garcia recognizes that what Crime Stoppers is doing is effective, its productive, and its making our community safe."
Adrian Garcia : "You know, we're the greatest law organization in the world I believe, but it doesn't matter how good we are, we need information many times to solve crimes."
Before he served as a Houston city councilmember, Garcia was a police officer. He agrees with Cabaniss that the allocation of seized funds is an ironic way to help solve crime.
"So, here's an opportunity for their ill-gotten gains to help facilitate the work of law enforcement."
PH : "Can you think of any other place that this would be better spent?"
Garcia : "Crime Stoppers is atop my list, because law enforcement is principally dependent on good information, good tips and so if we're not facilitating that information getting to the sheriff's office, then how can we solve crimes? How can we go out and arrest these fugitives and criminals that are out there you know, hurting our community? So, this is a direct investment in facilitating the key ingredient to good crime fighting, and that is getting good information, timely information into the hands of investigators."
Crime Stoppers of Houston was established in 1981 by business owners responding to the growing crime rate.