New Leader Of Houston's Crime Stoppers Has Tips On How To Prevent Crime

Rania Mankarious, Executive Director at Crime Stoppers of Houston. Image is from the Crime Stopppers Houston Facebook page.
Crime Stoppers Houston has a new leader at the helm. It follows a unanimous decision by the search committee and board of directors. The new executive director succeeds Katherine Cabaniss, who is now a district court judge. 

Her name is Rania Mankarious, who's been with the organization since 2006.

With her experience in law and marriage and family therapy, she eventually became director of marketing. Mankarious formerly introduced herself to supporters at a recent Crime Stoppers luncheon.

She says wherever she speaks, she asks the audience one question:

"What does your safety mean to you? I might live in an area where crime's not an issue. I still think it's odd of anyone that thinks that way, but there are certainly people that do. But you can't tell where you go to the grocery store, where you park your car, where your kids my be — it doesn't hurt to take preventative measures. Safety is everything to me. I care about my husband and our kids, and I care about the community and society, and I think we need to be mindful of the fact that we don't live in a bubble. We need to be proactive to keep us safe."

Despite efforts at crime prevention, she says many people who think they won't be a victim run the risk of becoming one.

"Nobody expects that they're going to be victimized today. It doesn't even cross your mind. But the reality is, it doesn't hurt to try to prevent it."

Hernandez: "With the great track record of cases solved, arrests made and victims compensated, do you pretty much just let the ship go be itself?"

Mankarious: "No, there's a lot of work we need to do. Crime Stoppers of Houston is number one in the country and in the world, and we thank Kim Ogg and Katherine Cabaniss for all the work that they've done. But there's a lot of work to do on the prevention side."

She says it's important that children be made aware of things that might lead to a crime.

"And you know what we're doing as a society, is we're trying to shield kids from crime, we don't want to talk about it. And I understand that, but you can start teaching your children. Listen, do you ever see something during the day that doesn't look right? Do you know how to process it? Do you know who to tell, do you understand that you should tell? There's a lot of seeds you can plant in the younger generation now — whether its respecting authority, whatever it might be — that we want to start doing."

Crime Stoppers will be expanding the nation's leading Safe Schools program and creating alliances with other organizations. Mankarious says investing in your community is the best way to get the message of safety out.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...