Police Reform Task Force should realize a ‘review committee with subpoena power” already exists with a grand jury

THINGS ARE LOOKING BAD FOR POLICE DEPARTMENTS across the nation in the wake of the George Floyd debacle in Minneapolis. As we all know, Houston and its HPD cannot be compared to Minneapolis, Chicago, LA or any other large PD in our nation.

Houston has a mayor who knows how to weigh the facts in the city under his charge. Mayor Sylvester Turner succeeded in getting an HPD budget increase and approval for five new cadet classes while many demonstrators outside City Hall were clamoring for defunding the men and women sworn to protect them from dangerous criminals.

Strong stands are necessary every day in this anti-police environment. The mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reforms is tasked with hearing suggestions of ways to mess with policing operations. We hope under the leadership of Larry Payne, that this group made up of a cross-section of community leaders and some HPD representatives will be fair and just with its list of final recommendations.

The Badge & Gun has a suggestion (or proposal) of its own at this juncture: resist the temptation – and likely demand – for a police review committee with subpoena power. Houston doesn’t need such an entity. It would be ripe to benefit efforts to promote various political agendas of anti-police activists.

We hope the right-thinking, common-sense personnel on the Payne task force will realize the obvious: Houston/Harris County already has a “police review committee” with the power to subpoena individuals and records of all kinds. It’s known as a legally constituted Harris County grand jury.

Houston police officers will be facing extraordinary scrutiny in the coming months. This is one issue that should be readily eliminated from the task force’s agenda.