‘People are hurting’: Houston police chief hosts roundtable update on suspended cases

March 6, 2024: Houston Police Chief Troy Finner gives an update on the department's deactivated sexual assault cases. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTONHouston Police Chief Troy Finner convened a pivotal round table discussion with community leaders and the media to address the backlog of cases that had been suspended due to personnel shortages within the department.

SEE ALSO: Mayor Whitmire says HPD’s suspended cases scandal ‘manipulated’ Houston’s crime rate over the past 8 years

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Opening the meeting with a testament to his deep-rooted commitment to the City of Houston, Chief Finner underscored his lifelong dedication, saying it’s, “the only adult job I’ve had is the Houston Police Department.”

The chief says while staffing has always been a problem it’s no excuse not to investigate crimes against a person.

“People are hurting, and the police department has let them down,” he lamented, emphasizing the urgency of rectifying the situation.

He then went on to talk about the antiquated Records Management System (RMS) put in place in 2014.

Chief Finner highlighted that out of 264,000 suspended cases, 67,533 had been reviewed, along with 3,883 out of 4,017 special victims-related cases using the SL code.

SEE ALSO: Houston Police Chief Finner sends memo to officers on ‘SL’ code

Review by department standards means investigators started the process, including door knocks.

When detectives couldn’t find a victim by phone, text, or email, they visited the last known address. So far, investigators made 1,182 location checks.

SEE ALSO: Six Houston police officers under internal affairs review in suspended cases scandal

Chief Finner says there have been charges as a result of reopening the incident reports, but couldn’t provide a total with the statement.

The Chief expects to have an Internal Affairs report completed by the end of April. He has not been questioned as of Tuesday, and says he has not prohibited being questioned by IAD.

SEE ALSO: Think your case was one of the 200,000+ cases suspended by HPD? Here’s how to check

KPRC 2 Investigates Mario Diaz asked Chief Finner if ASTROWORLD played apart in the initial investigation. Finner told him he isn’t using it as an excuse but it was going on.

Looking ahead, the chief expressed optimism about the forthcoming implementation of a new operational record-keeping system by the summer of 2025, as highlighted by KPRC 2 Pop-Off Politics.

About the Authors

As an Emmy award-winning journalist, Jason strives to serve the community by telling in-depth stories and taking on challenges many pass over. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his girlfriend Rosie, and dog named Dug.

Nationally-recognized investigative journalist. Passionate about in-depth and investigative stories that are important to the community. Obsessed with my Corgi pup named Chulo.

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