Bobby E. Mills, PhD
Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “Violent crime in Houston is a public health crisis.” As of February 7th, 2022, only Chicago had (61) homicides compared to Houston’s (57) homicides in 2022. New York and Los Angeles, America’s two largest cities were somewhat respectively lower: 34 and 30. Houston’s homicide numbers reveal a disturbing alarming significant trend: Houstonians are becoming more violent, more ungodly, and more undisciplined and the question is why? Houston, I hate to tell you this, but Houston is a vibrant affluent culturally diverse socio-economically viable city, and some of the individuals who are moving into the Houston area have ungodly reasons for doing so!
Therefore, Houstonians must now become more sophistically aware of our environmental surroundings, and not become prey for criminal minded individuals. We must exercise safe behavioral practices. Thus, Houston’s year to year trend shows an alarming (54%) increase in homicides. Question: how do we as a city and local neighborhood communities reduce these senseless criminal behaviors and violent crimes from occurring? The City of Houston must deploy more community-based policing in high crime areas. Additionally, local communities must have viable community watch programs. If you see something say something and call the police department. We spiritually know that individuals who do not know the Lawgiver will not obey neither God’s nor manmade laws.
Murders and violent crimes are on the rise in Houston. The spiritual question is why, and the following statistics are indicators of the trend related to violent crimes. Again, how do we bring violent criminal behaviors under control in the City of Houston? In 2021 Houston recorded (473) murders an increase of (71%) from the number of murders in 2019. This is the highest murder rate in Houston since the 1990’s. The increase in violence and criminal activity was primarily family related, gang violence, and individual violent robberies. Before we can stop violence, we must spiritually understand why it is happening and where it is occurring. The zip codes with the most murders and criminal activity were Zip Code 77033, the Southpark Neighborhood in Southeast Houston, the area North of the 610 Loop to Tidwell (Zip Code 77022) between Hardy Toll Road and Independence Heights, and Zip Code 77036 the area that includes Sharpstown and Chinatown.
The spiritual answer to why such a dramatic increase in violent crimes lie in the breakdown of the family structure that has resulted in individuals seeking love, pleasure, and social acceptance from the wrong individuals and in all the wrong places. Thus, when God is not at the center of family life it simply means that EGO has Edged God Out, which in turn, only leaves room for the devil and violence. God is LOVE, and love covers a multitude of sins. Hence, all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God, but all individuals do not lie, steal and kill. Churches must play an important role in assisting the Law Enforcement Constabulary in reestablishing moral, because: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Proverbs 29: 18). Houston, there is no neutral attitude concerning righteousness. Amen.