This Is What Community Oriented Policing Looks Like
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[This Is What Community Oriented Policing Looks Like]
[Sergeant Steve Wick:] Source: LYBIO.net
You got to be called to do this kind of police work. You got to want to do this kind of police work. I want you to be success. You know how many people we lose last year?
A young officer will get out there and wants to do nothing but be out there and make arrest and run, code to calls and do the adrenalin stuff, I have done all that.
Nobody will take a shelter I.D.
All these folks in the street are not bad. These are people that need somebody to talk to, somebody that cares about them, you know, become their advocate and help them get off the street.
[Steve Wick (Speaking To Man):]
I didn’t call her and see if she can get you hooked into…
[Steve Wick:] Source: LYBIO.net
This is just another kind of police work and it feels great to help people.
You all doing okay.
[Bystanders On The Street:]
Yeah, I’m good. How are you doing?
So far, so good.
My name is Steve Wick, I’m the Sergeant of Houston Police Department’s Homeless Outreach team.
[Steve Wick (Speaking To A Homeless Man):]
Anyway, Michael, you decide you want to do anything, let me know.
Police officers are responsive in nature and the tools they have had in the past are the penal code, you would respond to complaint as this person drunk on the sidewalk, pick ‘em up, they’d spent few hours in jail and then they get kicked out and they do the same thing again.
You’re all right?
What my team tries to do is to eliminate the complaints associated with people living on the streets, by getting those people off the streets, seems pretty simple, doesn’t that?
Houston PD’s Homeless Outreach Team partners with dozens of outreach organizations to provide housing, healthcare, food, ID cards and jobs to the homeless.
I never wanted to work for HPD when I was young. I just wanted to get out of the city and get in the country, but Houston was a Department that offered a lot of diversity. These are our offices. You can get sick of patrol in a big department like HPD and go do something totally different in another part of the department.
Sgt. Wick began patrolling downtown Houston in 1994.
When you work in an area like downtown Houston for a long time you get to know the street population, you talk with them, you learn their stories, you know you arrest them, I have got great relationships with that I have arrested – you know – dozens and dozens of time, because I care about them, they become like your extended family.
These lady right here, some mother and daughter who were living on a bench on main street. We go out on a once a month outreach I put them on the van with somebody and then they be back on main street in two days.
I got kind of disgusted with not being able to help them. So I sat down on my phone and I called, you know place to place to place. 45 minutes later we were able to get her into housing at the [Heights] house and they have been living there since more than over three years now. I said, you know, we are going to have to do more than just put him on the bus. We are going to have to shepherd him through the process. The department decided to get behind it and here we are almost four years later.
[Officer Jaime Giraldo (Houston PD, Homeless Outreach):] Source: LYBIO.net
When we first started this in 2010 we got an old van that had been junked and we pulled it out just for this project. I always remember something that Steve said, ‘think outside the box’. God almighty that’s the recipe for it all. You just have to think outside the box.
The Homeless Outreach Team has grown to include four officers, one sergeant and three mental health case workers.
We are a tool, we’re not the answer I wish we were, we’re a tool in the tool box to be something about the problem.
Since 2010, they have placed more than 400 people into temporary and permanent housing.
Did he fix it? Or did you fix it?
[Homeless Man:] Source: LYBIO.net
[I just see this guy everyday], you know. And he always stops and says hi – and that doesn’t happen very often, you know, with the other cops. It means a great deal, because at least someone out here cares. You know, someone in a uniform that cares.
I have two friends in the world. One is Mr, Wick and one is my cat.
I have got a guy who graduated with the engineering degree from University of Houston Downtown. I have got guys that have been to Juilliard, you know highly educated people that have whether it be alcohol, or whether it be drugs, or a combination of both are on the streets now.
He seems to be a good guy and he wants to work.
[Steve Wick:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
But they are just people and if we use our uniform or authority in order to help them access, to help what’s already available, you know so much the better.
Houston Police Department
This Is What Community Oriented Policing Looks Like. Houston PD’s Homeless Outreach Team partners with dozens of outreach organizations to provide housing, healthcare, food, ID cards and jobs to the homeless. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.