Houston police reform task force publishes 150-page report

Houston police reform task force
Houston police reform task force chair Larry Payne presented the group's findings Sept. 30. (Courtesy HTV)

Houston police reform task force chair Larry Payne presented the group's findings Sept. 30. (Courtesy HTV)

In the Houston police reform task force's 150-page report unveiled Sept. 30, the 45-member group recommends strengthening the police oversight board, reducing the amount of time to publish body camera video and expanding use of mental health service providers.

“It acknowledges the need to move policing from the concept that it is now in place of warriors and back to the concept of being guardians,” said Larry Payne, task force chair and an official for the Houston Public Library.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is willing to consider all of the recommendations but declined to indicate which will be his first priorities.

“Give me a few days to digest it, but it is my intention to try to move forward and adhere to the timelines they put forth as much as possible," he said.

The release of the report is considered the first phase of the task force's work, Payne said. Next, the group will work with city officials to identify ways to implement the proposed policy changes, either though city council action, executive order or contract negotiations with the Houston police officers union. It is possible that some issues will need to be taken up by state lawmakers, however, Turner said.


Some of the report's suggestions come with timelines for implementation ranging from one month to a year.

A third phase of the task force’s work will focus on tracking the changes proposed in the document and holding city officials accountable if they do not implement them, Payne said.

The task force recommendations were published online, and Turner said that as he reviews them over the next week, he will also listen for feedback from the public. Beside suggesting that he will have considered all proposals within a week, Turner did not give any specific information about when residents will see new policy changes implemented.

Turner did, however, point to an ongoing effort to create an online dashboard for residents to view officer complaint information as well as HPD’s new cite-and-release program as examples of reforms taking shape ahead of the task force report.

The mayor formed the task force after nationwide protests following Houstonian George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police in May.

Turner did not respond to protests by proposing a reduction in HPD funding, as some activists pushed for, but instead engaged in a monthslong public input and task force process.

View the full report here.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


MOST RECENT

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE: West Alabama improvements to kick off this fall

The project will include new concrete streets, curbs, sidewalks, driveways and street lighting.

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to last April with 9,105 units sold versus 6,175 a year earlier. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
HAR: Houston-area home sales in April up 47% compared to last year

Single-family home sales were up 47.4% compared to April 2020.

House Bill 1024, signed into law May 12, allows restaurants and bars to permanently sell alcoholic beverages to-go. (Courtesy Pexels)
Cocktails to-go are here to stay in Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott signs change into law May 12

Supporters say the change will help restaurants continue to recover from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
County commissioners expand scope of flood tunnel study as next phase nears completion

New details could emerge soon on the potential use of underground tunnels to carry flood water in Harris County, and officials voted May 11 to dedicate an additional $3.26 million to study efforts along Buffalo Bayou.

The boudin board at Studewood Grill comes with large-shred cheddar cheese and saltines. (Courtesy Studewood Hospitality)
Studewood Grill plots May 22 grand opening in the Heights

The "rustic American" eatery will focus on prime beef and fresh seafood dishes along with a full bar that specializes in whiskey, bourbon and classic cocktails.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

The new Adult Education Center will be located at 6515 Irvington Blvd., Houston. (Rendering courtesy Cre8 Architects)
Harris County Department of Education to build new facilities, renovate administration building

The $36.1 million improvements include a new adult education facility, a new middle school and interior renovations to the department's existing Ronald W. Reagan Administration Building.

Pfizer vaccines could become available to kids 12 and up as soon as next week. (Courtesy Adobe Stock/Graphic by Justin Howell/Community Impact Newspaper)
FDA expands Pfizer vaccine authorization to children ages 12 to 15 years old

This is the first time people under the age of 16 have been granted access to a coronavirus vaccine.

The deadline is May 17 for residents to protest their appraised property values set by the Harris County Appraisal District earlier this year, and officials are encouraging protesters to take online options into account. (Courtesy Pexels)
Harris County residents have until May 17 to protest property values

High demand for residential properties along with a shrinking inventory of homes translated into a roughly 8%-10% increase in residential values on average across the county this year

Brandon Nguyen owner of D&Q The Beer Station on Richmond Avenue, can guide overwhelmed newbies and beer veterans alike on the selections at his one-stop shop. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Craft Beer Guide: 14 places to celebrate American Craft Beer Week in Houston

Craft beer week runs from May 10-15, and our guide fills you in on the local breweries in Houston, including which ones are dog friendly, which ones have in-house kitchens and which ones have outdoor seating.