January 23, 2013

City of Houston E-Newsletter

Table of Contents

Crime Analysis Shows Houston Holding the Line on Crime

An analysis of crime statistics over the last three years shows Houston’s overall crime rate is down nearly 8 percent. The numbers are based on a comparison of Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) for the three years before and after the start of 2010. There were declines noted in murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft and auto theft.

Crime Stats Graphic

The one-year comparison of UCR violent and non-violent crimes shows an overall crime rate that remained flat in 2012, as compared to 2011, a year in which the local murder rate dropped to its lowest point in more than four decades.

Even though one murder or one rape is one too many, there is always work to be done on those non-violent property crimes that tend to hit closer to home and are more prevalent among the general public than violent crimes. Houston Police Department (HPD) targets hot spots, but residents can also do their part by being more careful. The key to prevention is being aware of your surroundings.

Numerous brochures with crime prevention tips are available at Many of these brochures are printed in multiple languages.

For more information on HPD, visit

The Houston Fire Department (HFD) is Hiring Future Firefighters

HFD Recruiting Open House

Saturday, February 2, 2013
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
HFD’s Val Jahnke Training Facility
8030 Braniff, Houston 77061
(just south of Hobby Airport)

Apply online now through February 12, 2013 at

Houston Civil Service Exam

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
9 a.m.
George R Brown Convention Center
1001 Avenida de las Americas
Exhibit Hall B
Houston 77010

Bring your drivers license or other photo identification

For more information visit, or call 832.394.6600.

Houston’s Hottest Job!

Fire Department Logo

Creating an Urban Houston Framework Online Poll
Poll closes Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thank you to all those who have already taken the poll.
Please help us reach our goal of 2,000 participants!
Take the Online Poll

The City of Houston is working on a study known as the Urban Houston Framework that will help guide the City in the development of policies, tools and incentives to encourage responsible, sustainable development throughout Houston. One of the primary goals is to promote urban centers.

To assist with that effort, we are conducting an online poll and need your participation. We are interested in hearing what characteristics you think best describe Urban Centers of varying scales. Understanding that a “one size does not fit all”, we want you to tell us what amenities best define a Small Urban Center, Medium Urban Center and Large Urban Center.

To take the online poll, visit The comment period closes Wednesday, January 30, 2013. To better understand Urban Centers, visit the project website at

For more information email [email protected].

Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives

Houston City Council has approved the creation of the City’s first Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives. Mandy Chapman Semple will lead the City’s efforts to create and implement a comprehensive, collaborative plan to address chronic homelessness.

As Special Assistant to the Mayor for Homeless Initiatives, Ms. Semple will work on behalf of the City to expedite the development and implementation of strategies to address chronic homelessness and more effectively serve Houston’s homeless population. Ms. Semple will work with the Mayor, City Council and City Departments, as well as private, public and non-profit stakeholders to carry out a variety of duties, including:

  • Develop a plan to guide City policies and practices
  • Develop a strategy to align, leverage and responsibly allocate City resources
  • Lead interagency collaboration efforts related to development of rapid re-housing strategies, supportive housing and alignment of supportive service resources
  • Represent the City at external Continuum of Care, planning and implementation meetings
  • Manage relationships with outside experts and guide technical assistance activities
  • Coordinate initiatives with the business and philanthropic communities

This newly created position is funded through a public/private partnership between the City of Houston (utilizing Homeless and Housing Bond funds) and the Houston Downtown Management District. For more information contact Marc Eichenbaum at [email protected] or 713.865.4557.

To learn more about the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department, visit

City of Houston Ordinance Amendments Under Consideration

A link to the City of Houston Ordinance Amendments under consideration can be found on the City of Houston website, and directly at Ordinance feedback and opinions are welcome!

Action is not guaranteed on any of the proposals, and if there is action, there could be changes that differ from the original posting. Check back for updates.