In Houston City Council chambers Jan. 11, Houston Chief of Police Troy Finner and Assistant Chief of Police Wyatt Martin spoke at the council's weekly meeting on the department's end-of-year statistics for 2022.

Finner and Martin presented findings on crime statistics citywide and by council district. Their preliminary statistics point to an 8% decrease in violent crime year-over-year from 2021 to 2022.

The city also saw a 9% decrease in the murder rate, a 9% decrease in robberies, an 8% decrease in aggravated assaults and an 18% decrease in rape over that time.

Crime decreased across each district; District K saw the greatest decrease year over year at 15% for 2022, followed by District C and District F, which both had a decrease in crime of 14%.

Kidnapping and auto theft increased citywide, but Finner and Martin said some of the kidnapping figures are attributed to noncustodian family members of children.

Murder also increased in some districts. While Finner said one murder is too many, he noted some of these percentages warrant closer inspection to get a better idea of the situation, such as a 31% increase in murder in District E, which translates to an increase of five murders from 2021 to 2022.

The presentation also highlighted an increase in auto theft to 17,694 incidents in 2022, up by almost 1,800 cases from 2021. HPD officials reminded people to lock cars and not leave valuables—especially guns—in plain sight.

General theft, which increased by 7% in 2022, often takes the form of catalytic converter theft from vehicles, officers said. Three council members—Abbie Kamin, David Robinson and Robert Gallegos—noted they have been victims of recent auto-related theft.

While it was shared that Chicago, a city with fewer square miles than Houston, has a larger police force than the Bayou City, Mayor Sylvester Turner highlighted the hiring of 2,026 new police officers over the course of his administration.

Additionally, Finner highlighted a $10,000 signing bonus for new cadets approved by City Council in 2022 and the early success of One Safe Houston. He also highlighted a need for more resources, including for technology and for aiding the mental health of officers.

As the state legislature plans to set its biannual budget, Turner and other City Council members emphasized their wishes for some of the budget's surplus to be allocated to law enforcement and for officer mental health.