BUSINESSES THE FOCUS OF CRIME FIGHTING INITIATIVE IN SHARPSTOWN
Unique Brochure Targets Business Leaders of All Cultural and Ethnic Backgrounds
HOUSTON, August 23, 2004 – The Sharpstown Economic Development Authority is taking a unique multi-lingual approach to inform area businesses about crime prevention strategies. Recognizing the ethnic and cultural diversity of the area, the Authority has developed a brochure with crime prevention tips in six languages.
Sharpstown officials will gather at the Houston Police Department Ranchester Storefront, 9146 Bellaire Boulevard, for a news conference to highlight the brochure and other crime prevention initiatives at 10 a.m., Tuesday, August 24, 2004. The news conference will feature comments from Houston City Council Member M.J. Khan, law enforcement officials and representatives of the Sharpstown Economic Development Authority.
The brochure is being mailed to approximately 5,000 businesses in the Sharpstown area and will arrive in mailboxes by week’s end. It includes safety tips in Chinese, English, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
“Houston Police Department crime statistics clearly show that the Sharpstown area’s aggressive crime prevention activities are having a positive impact, but we know we have more work to do,” said Kenneth Li, chairman of the Authority’s Safety Committee. “Through this initiative and others like it, we hope to continue to reduce the incidence of crime against area businesses and residents.”
The safety tips in the brochure urge business owners and operators to take the following precautions:
- Always be alert and aware of your surroundings;
- When carrying large amounts of cash, avoid falling into a routine, avoid traveling alone, carry the cash in something other than a money bag and always keep the car doors locked;
- Keep a cellular phone handy and charged at all times;
- If you feel as if you’re being followed, drive to the nearest police station, fire station or busy public place to seek assistance; and
- Call 911 in an emergency.
“Many business owners and operators in the Sharpstown area are relatively new to our country and may never have been told how to call for help in an emergency,” said Denny Gaston, Harris County Precinct 5 Sergeant. “We hope this brochure sends the message that we care about the entire business community, and we are working with this community to help reduce crime.”
In addition to communications initiatives such as the crime prevention brochure, the Authority contracts with Harris County Constable Glen Cheek to maintain its own rotating crew of full-time deputies. Additionally, the District acts as a broker to secure law enforcement services from the Houston Police Department, Harris County Sheriff’s Department, Houston City Council and the State Legislature.
Printing and distribution of the brochure will be funded by the Authority as part of its five-year Service Plan to provide enhanced security and public safety. The Service Plan also funds area beautification, public relations and economic development. Annual operating budget for the Authority is approximately $270,000.
The Sharpstown Public Improvement District was created by the city of Houston in 1998 to enhance the economic, social and physical well being of the Sharpstown area. The district provides a unified voice for the people living, working and doing business in Sharpstown, helps secure critical governmental services and facilitates new private and public investment. More information about the district can be found at www.sharpstowndistrict.org.