City of Katy plans to hire four more police officers after robbery

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At the request of Katy Police Chief Jose Noe Diaz, Council Member Frank O. Carroll asked Katy City Council to include a discussion for a plan to expand the Katy Police Department at the April 22 meeting.

Diaz said he wants to add four police officers and at least two patrol vehicles to keep Katy safe as the population develops.

“We’ve done a fantastic job so far,” he said. “But as our community grows, we need to make sure we have the assets.”

Carroll said City Council would have to rearrange the budget, but making sure first responders have what they need is top priority. To highlight the importance of the proposed plan, he addressed an aggravated robbery at the T-Mobile store at 801 FM 1463 on April 13.

“We don’t know if he had a gun,” Carroll said. “But when you have your hand inside your shirt, we go ahead and assume they had a gun. They stole 30-plus phones and thousands of dollars of merchandise in broad daylight, on a Saturday … right in the middle of our city.”

Mayor Chuck Brawner congratulated Diaz for working diligently to help arrest the 16- and 17-year-old suspects involved in the T-Mobile store robbery and recovering the stolen phones and watches.

“Houston is growing further and further out west,” Brawner said. “We’re kind of like this little island out here—it’s pretty good, and we don’t want to have the robberies and the other things that are happening just to the east of us filtering their way into our city.”

Brawner agreed that one way to deter crime is to keep the city’s vigilance and officer mobility high.

Council members voiced questions regarding the current status of the police department, such as the number of currently staffed officers, the number of officers in training and the number of potential officers in the hiring process.

Diaz gave several examples of how the department operates within 24 hours, including that seven to 10 officers are on shift during the day, and sometimes it is not enough for the influx of 6,000-7,000 people traveling to Katy Mills Mall daily.

Council members agreed that four new officers would benefit the city, emphasizing their hope to have new hires in the field by the end-of-year holiday season.

“It’s an urgent need,” Diaz said. “The city is only getting bigger, and the population is extending west. In the next couple of years, Katy will become a college town with 8,000 students at University of Houston and 7,000 at Houston Community College.”

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