It’s quite likely the typical Houstonian thinks police officers clean up the biological blood-red messes resulting from a violent crime or suicide.
A wise guy at HPD would say it’s not our bloody job. Never has been outlined in any Union contract, and never will be.
Daniel Webster – yes, that’s his real name – beams with delight and dedication when he mentions this gross urban legend. Then he stresses that he and his company are willing, eager and specially equipped to do the dirty job.
“We help people at a time of need,” he said, “especially when they don’t know where to turn to.”
Contributes to Axe Throwing Tourney
Webster, an Austin native unrelated to the famous lawyer and orator bearing the famous name, was speaking of the reaction of the next-of-kin at a homicide scene, a suicide scene or one involving a decomposed body.
Heck, police officers know what he’s talking about, having been there and done that – except for the clean-up.
The young business entrepreneur has owned WWR Services in The Woodlands for five years. His work has been in and around Montgomery County. But he’s been coming south and hopes to serve those kin folks in need around the Houston area.
Webster said, “These tragedies can be incredibly difficult on the families and we work quickly and discreetly to turn chaos back to normal. We come out there and are willing to help as much as we can without your next-of-kin cleaning up your bodily fluids.”
WWR (www.wwrservicestx.com) is a “mom-and-pop” with a well-trained staff of five. They know the value of responding to a scene quickly and taking prompt action once they get the go-ahead.
“God’s purpose was for me to do this,” Webster stated. “It’s always about helping people.”
He wants to help Houston police officers as well. He and his wife Erin spent some time at Texas Axe Throwing at 23300 Interstate 45 North near Spring. He learned of the upcoming Hatchet and Handcuffs Axe Throwing Tournament to benefit Assist the Officer as well as the Houston firefighters. This is another cops-versus-firefighters competition that benefits their support groups – in the cops’ case it’s Assist the Officer.
Webster has a special appreciation for officers and firefighters who get enough of the grievous gross just in the regular course of human (and inhuman) events.
“So often I am at a crime scene or suicide and I hear people say they think police officers or firefighters will come in and clean up the scene,” he said. “I tell them, no, this is where I come in.”
Well, he came into the Houston Police Officers Union and anted up $500 to go toward officers’ entry fees for the three-phase tournament on Thursday evenings in June. (Please see the schedule in the tournament story or the flyer).
“Officers work hard doing a very difficult job,” Webster said. “I wanted to do something to show my support. We went to Texas Axe Throwing and thought it looked fun and challenging.”
The number of crime scene clean-up businesses is growing in Southeast Texas and everywhere else. Webster said he is careful not to take unfair advantage of grieving families who might not realize that most if not all the clean-up costs are covered by homeowner’s insurance.
“We will never ask for any more money,” the company owner said, “just what the homeowner’s insurance policy pays.”
Once an agreement is reached, “my guys remove all the biological fluids, using brushes, chemicals and personal protection equipment in the cleaning process in all the areas that got affected.”
The Suicide Trend
In addition to homicides and decomposition scenes that might come from undiscovered bodies or suicides, Webster also mentioned “hoarding.” This happens when a home or business has become inundated with stale food or other odorous or germ-infested desecrations.
“Hoarding is preventable,” Webster said. “You can stop hoarding but you can’t stop suicides.”
He said suicide clean-up will be paid for by a homeowner’s policy in several ways. Use of a gun means there was an explosion, which is in typical coverage. Anything involving a murder will be covered due to the biochemical aftermath.
“With a stabbing it gets kinda tricky. But we can handle that too.”
Asked about business trends, Webster said most recent business has been body decomposition cases (unattended death) or suicides.
Interestingly, he pointed out that the suicide rate dramatically increased in Montgomery County during last year’s pandemic. “The oddest thing we’ve seen happen was a lot of older people committing suicide because they didn’t want to die alone in the hospital. We saw the COVID suicide rate reach 20 within a three-month span. There were four hangings and the rest were gunshots.”
Webster cited another interesting fact. His workers are required by CDC guidelines to remove affected walls and rugs. But then things change.
“We cut the sheetrock up four feet. We cut it out, treat the area and get it all cleaned up. It’s up to the next-of-kin to find a company to rebuild it back together. No, we’re just the janitors.”
Yes, and the supporters of the axe throwers of the HPD.