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Houston PD working to reopen thousands of cases suspended due to ‘lack of personnel’

Despite a deficit of nearly 2,000 officers, “this should have never happened and will not continue,” Chief Troy Finner stated


Photo/Houston Police Department

By Joanna Putman

HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department has been unable to fully investigate more than 260,000 cases since 2016 because of a “lack of personnel” suspension status, Houston Public Media reported.

Houston Chief Troy Finner has stated that the suspended cases represent about 10% of the 2.8 million incident reports filed with the department in the past 8 years, according to the report. Finner also stated that the department would be reopening about 4,000 of the suspended cases to investigate sexual assaults.

Finner stated that the status of the cases as “suspended due to lack of personnel” should never have existed, according to the report. Houston officers reportedly began using the code in 2016 until Finner instructed them to stop in 2021, with some officers still labeling cases with the code despite Finner’s instructions.

“Regardless of staffing challenges, this should have never happened and will not continue,” Finner said in a statement last week. “All victims and their families are important to me and deserve to be treated as such.”

Finner stated that the department is short about 2,000 officers, according to an earlier report.