Part of the Precinct 7 Theft Reduction Program, Constable May Walker and team hand out report cards to help deter crime. Story includes my interview with Constable Walker and Chief Goree Anderson.
I haven’t had a report card since the 12th grade (in college we were given our grades online), so I was stunned yet excited to see a report card being handed out by Constable patrols in Houston Midtown. The report card (shown below) is a creative idea first implemented by HPD, but enhanced by Constable May Walker. Adding onto the Vehicle Inspection checklist (vehicle left unlocked, window cracked or opened, valuables left visible in car, etc), the Constable added a Home Inspection section that calls out items related to Home Inspection (home looks empty and unlived in, shrubs over grown and lawn uncut, curtains opened and personal items in plain view, etc).
Intrigued by this smart and great crime prevention idea, I sought out to meet with Constable Walker and Chief Goree Anderson. Below is the interview that was held in December 2012.
Eric: Out of all the inspection points listed on the report card, is there one that stands out?
Chief Anderson: Car unlocked and purse on the seat visible for everyone to see.
Eric: Name one thing about yourself that most people don’t know?
Constable Walker: I attended a convent when I was younger. I had wanted to be a nun, but I didn’t stay there long.
Chief Anderson: I love motorcycles. I have a Harley and I ride with a law enforcement group. (In case you are wondering, Chief Anderson said group and not ‘gang’).
Eric: Constable Walker, you were the first female patrol officer in HPD, Executive Assistant to Mayor Brown, wrote a book “The History of the Black Police Officer in the Houston Police Department 1888-1988,” and also are a Constable. Which of these careers has brought you the most joy?
Constable Walker: Working as Constable and writing the book have brought me lots of joy.
Eric: What causes you the most anxiety about working as Chief?
Chief Anderson: Officer Safety. I want my guys to come home in peace.
Eric: Imagine you are Chief of Police of the largest city in the world. What kinds of tactics would you implement to help fight crime?
Constable Walker: It doesn’t matter if the city is big or small. It’s all about keeping the community safe and making sure police officers don’t get complacent.
Eric: Is there anyone past or present that you admire?
Chief Anderson: Lee Brown as well. He was one of the most intellectual and fascinating people I have ever met. The idea of community oriented policing was developed by him and is still practiced today.
Constable Walker: Lee Brown. He was Chief of Police in Atlanta and Houston, Drug Czar for President Clinton, and Mayor of Houston. One day he called me into his office and told me that he wanted me to write a book. I said, “I don’t know how to write a book.” He said, “I believe you can.”, and he was right.