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Should Police Officers Live in the City They Patrol?

Image via Flickr/Jerald Jackson (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Houston City Council will soon vote on a plan to incentivize police officers to live in certain zip codes.

From Texas Standard: There are lots of reasons people choose not to live in the cities where they work: cheaper housing, better schools, personal safety, or just wanting some distance between you and the 9-to-5.

In the Dallas and Houston police departments, most officers live in the suburbs.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Mayor Mike Rawlings says police should have more of a personal stake in the cities they patrol.

And today, the Houston City Council is set to vote on a plan to try to convince more of their police officers to live in certain Houston zip codes. The incentive: an extra $25,000, payable over three years.

Douglas Griffith, vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union, says he's "not interested" in the program.


"We all have constitutional rights as to where we'd like to live, what we like to do," he says. "Mandating that an officer live within the city in which he patrols, I just believe that might violate that."

Rhonda joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.
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