HOUSTON, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott announced the deployment of Department of Public Safety troopers to help the Houston Police Department combat the surge of road-rage shootings in the city. The governor is ordering marked and unmarked DPS vehicles to patrol hot spots defined by city officials, following a 33 percent increase in road-rage related shootings.
“The State of Texas is working closely with HPD to provide the necessary resources that will effectively combat violence in the Houston community,” Governor Abbott said in a written statement. “The support that DPS is providing to HPD will protect Houstonians and crack down on illegal and violent activity, including road rage-related shootings, within the city.”
The governor said he will also direct DPS leaders to deploy “multiple resources to support HPD and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crime Prevention operations. Those resources will include DPS special agents, state troopers, and intelligence analysts. Additionally, the State is sending one DPS helicopter and two patrol aircraft to provide air support.
“This is a collective effort between our friends at the Texas Department of Public Safety, our sheriff in Harris County, the Houston Police Department, and our DA,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a press conference on Tuesday.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 8, 2020
Acevedo said the city experienced a 33 percent increase in road-rage related shootings during the first 10 months of this year, compared to the same period last year. He said there have been more than 200 shootings on Houston roadways compared to 150 last year.
“Six of these road-rage incidents through October have actually led to murder,” the chief stated. “We know that we have a potential road-rage incident involving one of our own, Sergeant Rios.”
A gunman allegedly shot and killed HPD Sergeant Sean Rios in November at an intersection on the Interstate 45 feeder road on the city’s north side, Breitbart Texas reported.
Rios was reported to be driving to work when he became engaged in a gun battle with the driver of a blue four-door Mercedes Benz. A motive for the gun battle has not yet been determined.
Acevedo said the assembled law enforcement team will be deployed to key roadways “to go after aggressive drivers who if not stopped, might end up becoming another violent statistic.”
“We will add this task force at the state, local, and county level with the full support of the district attorney’s office to go after people committing road rage.,” the Houston police chief added. “When we can — when the law permits — we will be looking to forfeit cars. So those that are out there acting a fool, putting people at risk, trying to hurt people — you may be doing it on foot by the time this process is done.”
Acevedo praised the ongoing partnership between his department and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The City of Houston and the Houston Police Department have not participated in any efforts to defund the police.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.