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'Stronger and safer together' | Third Ward residents partner with Houston police to fight crime

Residents are working with HPD to help stop crime in their historic community. Five signs alert people to say something if they see something.

HOUSTON — People in the Third Ward are partnering with the Houston Police Department to combat crime. The partnership is considered a big deal by both HPD and the historic neighborhood where crime has spiked. 

The Citizen Patrol launched Saturday. Houston Police Department Detective Eric Carr was among the officers there for the unveiling of five signs strategically placed throughout the neighborhood that’s located just south of downtown Houston.

“So I come from a community that really didn’t like the police when I was growing up,” said Detective Carr. 

The veteran officer is a New Orleans native who has worked to build relationships with Third Ward residents. 

“I know the perspective of this community,” he said. “I want to be more of a solution than just a person talking about the problem.”

Carr, who works under HPD’s Community Affairs Division, was assigned to the neighborhood in early 2020, just before Third Ward native George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer.

“This community has always embraced law enforcement, believe it or not,” said Carr, who explained it's the criminals who don’t support police. “So this sign is just a symbol to let everybody know that the partnership is real.”

The five signs empower citizens to call police to say something if they see something. “We’re stronger and safer together.”

The hope is that the citizen patrol helps to prevent crimes like deadly drug-related shootings. 

A man was shot and killed outside a Third Ward gas station Wednesday morning, less than two miles from where Zhna Rizbi grabbed lunch. 

“I think that anything we can do to make the area better is a bonus, because it is a great place to live," said the homeowner who moved her family from The Heights to the Third Ward nine years ago, 

Rizbi said she does feel safe living in one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods. 

“I always feel like the area has my back.”

Neighbors are invested in fighting crime alongside police, a sign Houston’s Third Ward is moving in a new direction.

“I take this very, very personal to be a positive change.”

Melissa Correa on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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