Investigation into Incident at 12319 Braesridge Drive

Apr 7, 2020
Houston police are investigating an incident in which an HPD officer wounded a suspect at 12319 Braesridge Drive about 11:55 a.m. on Friday (April 3).

The suspect, Kevin Terrel Johnson (b/m, 27) suffered a non-life-threatening wound and was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released the same day.  He was subsequently booked into the Harris County Joint Processing Center on outstanding warrants.  A photo of Johnson is attached to this news release.

Sergeant R. Delasbour, who discharged his duty weapon, was not injured.  Sergeant Delasbour was sworn in as an HPD officer in August 2000 and is assigned to the South Gessner Patrol Division.

HPD Homicide Special Investigations Unit Detectives S. Martinez, J. Hartnett, M. Millington, L. Lopez and R. Bass reported:

HPD Crime Suppression Team officers arrived at the above address in an attempt to locate suspect Johnson, who was wanted on outstanding felony warrants of burglary of habitation, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony theft and misdemeanor evading arrest/detention.  

Upon the officers’ arrival, they surrounded the residence, knocked, and announced themselves as Houston Police.  Officers were met by several family members who would not confirm whether or not Johnson was inside the home.  Officers called out to Johnson to make his presence known and gave anyone inside the residence the opportunity to exit.  

Officers then began searching the inside of the residence, that included a dark attic area.  During their search, Sergeant Delasbour located Mr. Johnson hiding behind loose insulation in the attic.  Johnson, who was within close proximity of Sergeant Delasbour, suddenly raised his left arm.  Fearing for his safety and the safety of the other officers, Sergeant Delasbour discharged his duty weapon one time, striking Johnson in the arm.

Officers provided Johnson with first aid before he was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Houston Fire Department paramedics.

As is customary in officer-involved shooting incidents that occur within the Houston city limits, this case is being investigated by the HPD Homicide Special Investigations Unit, the Internal Affairs Division and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Read More

Mayor Turner announces new resource to help essential workers find childcare

Apr 7, 2020
Mayor Turner announces new resources to help essential workers find child care
Harris County, Collaborative for Children, and Texas Workforce Solutions partner with City of Houston to provide child care during health crisis
HOUSTON – In response to the challenge of essential workers finding child care, the Mayor’s Office, including the Mayor’s Office of Education and the Mayor’s Office of Resilience, partnered with the Houston Endowment and the Harris County Judge’s office to develop a child care solution during this COVID-19 pandemic.

As of this morning, essential workers can register for child care and for financial support  online at FindChildCareNow.org.

All essential workers, including all City of Houston and Harris County employees, with children aged 0-12 are eligible to participate on a first come, first served basis. Once a family selects a center and their enrollment is confirmed, care can begin immediately.

Essential workers are those identified by the State or local jurisdiction essential to continued critical infrastructure viability. The State of Texas list can be found here.There are three assistance options for essential workers: Those who need child care now, those who need child care and financial assistance, and those who already have child care in the community but need financial assistance.Essential workers can log onto the website at FindChildCareNow.org to complete an online registration form. Information provided on the form will enable Collaborative for Children’s early childhood specialists to research child care centers that best meets the workers’ needs and begin the process for Workforce Solutions to determine eligibility for financial assistance. Essential workers will receive up to three high-quality child care centers from which they can choose and notification of financial assistance eligibility within two business days.



“In this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 public health emergency, I deeply appreciate City of Houston employees and all essential employees’ dedication to help their fellow Houstonians. We want your children to be taken care of while you are busy taking care of others,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.“We as a community are indebted to essential workers who are making a huge sacrifice,” said Dr. Melanie Johnson, president and CEO of Collaborative for Children. “We are pleased to work with city and county officials to lighten the load of these valuable workers and use our expertise in early education to help them find child care at one of our Centers of Excellence. We believe it is imperative that we sustain quality early learning for Houston-area young children even during this crisis.”  

“First responders, health-care workers, grocery store clerks and other essential workers show up for us every day. This is how we can show up for them, said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “They deserve seamless access to quality child care centers and financial aid, and I’m pleased to join the city in supporting this unique, interagency effort to make that happen.”“The Gulf Coast Workforce Board is committed to supporting our everyday heroes, especially those essential workers needing financial assistance to ensure quality early education and care for their young children,” said Mark Guthrie, chair of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board. “Our Workforce Solutions staff will work hand-in-glove with all the partners to make sure parents can be signed up, determined eligible, and connected to a provider as quickly as possible.” 

Collaborative for Children is a leader in early childhood education with a 33-year history of serving the 13-county Houston region. Since its inception, the agency has proudly helped families find high-quality child care and early education.In 2000, the agency launched FindChildCareNow.org, an online database for all families. The database has more than 4,000 child care centers and family home centers listed. FindChildCareNow.org provides information such as hours of operations, teacher/student ratio and subsidy acceptance. It also reports quality information such as national accreditation and Texas Rising Star certification and ratings. More than 25,000 people use FindChildCareNow.org every year.  
Read More

Stay Home and Fill Out Your Census

Apr 3, 2020
Though the urgent mitigation of the COVID-19 outbreak is the priority in Harris County and across our nation, every household in the United States, including yours, is still responsible for completing a critical task: filling out the 2020 Census
“We’re at a critical moment in time as Texans and as Americans,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. “The actions we take as a community right now will determine our ability to bounce back from this crisis. Staying home is crucial to the short term health and safety of our community. But filling out the Census is crucial to the long-term health and safety of our community. Federal resources for healthcare, transportation, education, and even post-Covid recovery resources will be allocated according to population counts. As you are home distancing, please take time to fill out your Census. Our future depends on it.” 
Your response to the census is now more important than ever. You can submit your response via mail, phone, or online. By law, the Census cannot share your information with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits. We have much to gain and even more to lose — please fill out your census today. Visit 2020Census.gov for more information.
Read More

City adds second COVID-19 testing site, Stay Home,Work Safe order extended

Mar 31, 2020
Mayor Sylvester Turner supports extension of Harris County’s Stay Home, Work Safe order and announces the opening of second City of Houston COVID-19 testing site on Wednesday, April 1 
HOUSTON – Today Mayor Sylvester Turner, standing alongside Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, announced the Harris County Stay Home, Work Safe order set to expire on Friday, April 3, is now extended through April 30, 2020.Essential businesses can remain open. The Stay Home, Work Safe Order exempts essential workers covered in 16 CISA categories. The list of critical businesses can be found here.Individuals are advised to stay home unless they need to leave their residence to perform “Essential Activities.””The singular goal is worth repeating, and that is to blunt the progression of the COVID-19 so that we do not overwhelm our health care system,” Mayor Turner said. “We know that April 30 may seem a long way off. But if we work together, we can emerge from this health care crisis much quicker and stronger.”Texas Medical Center leaders have endorsed the Stay Home, Work Safe order extension. In a letter, ten CEOs said the order would help prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 Testing Capacity Doubles
 Beginning April 1, 2020, the City of Houston will operate two free COVID-19 testing sites. The new site will double the testing capacity to 500 people a day. 
The community sites only accept people with the identification code obtained through the screening process. People showing up at the test sites without an identification code will not get tested. 
Call either 832-393-4220 or go to houstonemergency.org/covid19 for an online screening tool. 
As of March 31, 2020, 377 people have tested positive for COVID-19, and four patients have died from the virus in the City of Houston. The virus has also affected City of Houston employees; eight firefighters, 12 police officers, and 18 municipal workers have tested positive. 
“Opening a second testing site to double our testing capacity is critically important for the City of Houston. We must test people who are sick and have underlying health conditions,” Mayor Turner said. “We need robust testing as we work to blunt the progression of COVID-19.”
Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips, and more
Read More

Houston Health Department reports 11 new COVID-19 cases

Mar 25, 2020
HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department announced 11 new positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on Wednesday, bringing the total to 66.   

Information about the cases’ gender, age range, travel and health condition is currently unavailable but the department will release it when obtained and verified.  

Investigations conducted by the department will identify potential contacts exposed to the virus. The department will provide close contacts guidance about the virus and monitor them for the development of symptoms.

Social distancing guidance for all Houstonians:Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.Maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other people.Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical care situations.Practice healthy hygiene habits:Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve.Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially if you are at higher risk for coronavirus.Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing.Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.Privacy protection laws only permit the release of limited patient information. The health department is unable to release any additional patient information.

Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips and more
Read More

Mayor Turner asks Houstonians to follow “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order

Mar 25, 2020
HOUSTON –  Mayor Sylvester Turner joined Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and local health officials Tuesday to announce details of a “Stay Home, Work Safe” Order issued by Harris County that requires individuals to remain at home or a place of residence, with exceptions for essential work and activities. 

View the complete City of Houston Order HERE.


“The Stay Home, Work Safe” Order is a more strategic way to blunt the progression of COVID-19, avoid overwhelming the health care system and balance the needs of families, businesses and the city’s economic realities,” Mayor Turner said.

The Order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24 and will last until April 3 unless modified, to further contain the spread of COVID-19 in Houston and Harris County.  Essential businesses can remain open. The Stay Home, Work Safe Order exempts essential workers covered in 16 CISA categories. The list of critical business can be found here.Individuals may leave their residence only to perform “Essential Activities”People working from home do not have to shelter in place or lock down. Groceries stores, pharmacies, gas stations, parks and other areas will remain open. Bars and nightclubs will remain closed; restaurants will offer only food takeout and deliveryPeople should practice social distancing Social distancing guidance for all Houstonians: Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.Maintain at least 6 feet of separation from other people.Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical care situations.Practice healthy hygiene habits:Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands.Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, use the elbow of your sleeve.Don’t use your hands to cover coughs and sneezes.Avoid close contact with people who are sick, especially if you are at higher risk for coronavirus.Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress to keep your immunity strong.Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible. 
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
 Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing.Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands.Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.Privacy protection laws only permit the release of limited patient information. The health department is unable to release any additional patient information.Houstonians may visit HoustonEmergency.org/covid19 for updated information about local risk, routine protective actions, frequently asked questions, communication resources, rumor control, emergency preparedness tips and more.
 
Read More

City of Houston accepts medical supplies donation to help curb COVID-19

Mar 23, 2020
Mayor Turner accepts donation of $42,000 in medical supplies from Asian American Chamber of Commerce to help with City’s COVID-19 response
HOUSTON – The Asian American Chamber of Commerce donated today over $42,000 in medical supplies to the City of Houston following our urgent calls for personal protective equipment. The supplies will be instrumental in the City’s work to blunt the spread of COVID-19 and protect employees who may work directly with groups considered to be high risk.

The chamber of commerce donated the following:10,000 masks40 gallons of sanitizers825 isolation gowns270 goggles500 face shields250 boot covers3600 gloves

“I want to thank the Asian Chamber of Commerce for their generosity,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Despite some business losses and other challenges faced as a result of COVID-19, they never lost faith and continued to give back to the greater community.”

The supplies will be distributed to the Houston Fire Department, Houston Police Department and the Houston Health Department, as well as other City of Houston employees.

Illy Jaffer, an employee with the Houston Health Department and an Asian American Chamber of Commerce board member, was instrumental in coordinating this donation.



“We as a collective body, including Chinese-American, Korean-American, Vietnamese-American, Japanese-Americans, Filipino-Americans and the various other AAPI ethnicities, are in support of helping Houston through this challenging crisis and will stand by Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City of Houston in whatever the needs are,” said Bin Yu, Asian Chamber Board Chair. “The City of Houston has been in support of our Chamber since our existence 30 years ago and we have built our campaign in rallying together where we titled it: ‘Together, Houston is Stronger!’

Contributors to the Asian Chamber of Commerce’s donation campaign include:Houston Tsinghua Alumni AssociationSino Professionals AssociationJJ Clemence Volunteer TeamChinese Civic CenterHouston Beijing University Alumni AssociationGeorge H.W. Bush Foundation – China CoronaVirus Action NetworkHouston Chinese AssociationChinese Association of Professional in Science and TechnologyIf you would like to donate supplies, please email donations@houstonoem.org.
Read More

Mayor Sylvester Turner asks authorities to investigate false social media posts

Mar 23, 2020
Mayor Sylvester Turner asks authorities to investigate false social media posts; assures residents the city of Houston is not shutting down over the weekend
Click photo to watch video:
Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses COVID-19 social media rumors and said he has asked authorities to investigate anyone intentionally sharing false information.
Fire Chief Sam Pena and Police Chief Art Acevedo also attended the news conference to assure the public that first responders are working to protect the community.  
HOUSTON –  The City of Houston is not shutting down over the weekend because of COVID-19. Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking Houstonians to get their information from credible sources such as HoustonEmergency.org and to ignore false social media rumors designed to create anxiety and confusion. 

“There is not going to be a lock-down, the city is not shutting down,” Mayor Turner announced during a Friday evening news conference. “There are only three people in the state of Texas who can make that decision, and that is the mayor, county judge, or governor. At this point, neither one has made the call. We are saying people should practice social distancing, wash their hands and use hand sanitizer.”

The mayor made the rare decision to address false social media reports in response to calls and questions he and other elected officials have received in recent days about a viral social media video and robocall.

The information shared in the social media post is false, and the mayor has called for an investigation into social media posts that are intentionally spreading misinformation about the City’s COVID-19 response.

The Houston Police Department launched an investigation at Mayor Turner’s request.

“Do not spread these social media posts; do not address these social media posts. Get your information from legitimate news sites or legitimate government sites. We’re going to continue to monitor false posts, and we’re going to charge the people responsible for making false posts,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

“Social media can be good, but  get your news from the television, the newspaper, or government officials,”  Mayor Turner said. “But the last place to get your information as it relates to this COVID-19 crisis is unverifiable social media.”

The City of Houston has announced several changes in recent days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to avoid overwhelming the health care system with people who have tested positive.

On Friday morning, the first of four COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites opened to serve health care workers and first responders experiencing symptoms. Both groups have the highest risk of exposure and the potential to infect others. 

“This is something we all have in our control. We ask you to practice proper hygiene and limit physical contact to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Your Houston Fire Department is here for you. We’re in this together,” said Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena.
Read More

New Guidelines for Houston City Council Meetings

Mar 23, 2020
HOUSTON –  As the City of Houston and local health professionals work to blunt the progression of COVID-19, Mayor Sylvester Turner has implemented new guidelines for 
Houston City Council meetings to comply with social distancing requirements.

Members of the media will be asked to spread out in the council chamber instead of standing by the media tables. Media can also watch the meeting on the Houston Municipal Channel. (Comcast Channel 16)


The following guidance was shared Monday afternoon with Houston City Council Members

Tuesday City Council Public SessionsMeeting will begin at 2 p.m. instead of 1:30 p.m.All proclamation presentations canceled Only 10 public speakers at a time will be allowed in the Council chamber. Overflow speakers will wait in the Houston City Hall Legacy Room.  
Wednesday City Council Agenda MeetingsOnly city council members will be allowed in the chamber. Council aides will asked to remain in their offices. Council Members  will be spaced around the horseshoe, at the podium, and at the media tables for the meeting. They can also sit in the audience, if they choose. Council Members will not use the touchscreens to request to speak. The City will use a paper process.    The General Services Department has been assigned to disinfect and sanitize all touch points inside council chambers including doors, doorknobs, door push-pulls, light switches, elevators, stair rails, restrooms, restrooms’ faucets and flushing handles. GSD  will also wipe down the Council table top in the horseshoe.

For more information and updates about COVID-19, please go to www.HoustonEmergency.org.
 
Read More

Mayor Turner cancels city events through April and announces new public meeting guidelines

Mar 17, 2020
City extends emergency disaster declaration;
Mayor Turner cancels city events through April and announces new public meeting guidelines 
HOUSTON –  In a special called meeting Tuesday morning, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council members voted to indefinitely extend the proclamation of a local state of disaster due to a public health disaster for the City of Houston. The measure passed 15-1 with District G Council Member Greg Travis voting against it. The order allows Mayor Turner to make decisions to work with the county, state, and federal officials to contain and mitigate COVID-19 spread and protect members of the public.

“As a city, we must work together. This is a crisis that is going to be with us for several weeks, if not several months,” Mayor Turner said. “It is gravely important for us to take definitive steps to slow the COVID-19 spread. The measures we have put in place will help save lives.”Last week, Mayor Turner signed the disaster declaration, which was in effect for seven days. Mayor Turner also announced Tuesday:All city-produced, sponsored and permitted events are canceled through the end of April.Starting Tuesday, March 24, no proclamation presentations will be made during the city council public sessionThe city of Houston remains open for business. However, employees are encouraged to limit exposure to members of the public and handle business online, if possibleCity of Houston Department Directors have the discretion to allow employees to work from home/telecommute The Houston Public Library will remain closed through the end of March. The HPL suspension includes all public programs and events. However, free online resources and digital services are available 24/7 with a MY Link Library Card at www.houstonlibrary.org, including e-books and e-audiobooks, streaming TV, movie and music services, online classes and tutoring, and databases.On Monday, Mayor Turner ordered all city of Houston bars, nightclubs, and restaurant dining rooms in the city of Houston to close for 15 days.Restaurants may only offer take-out, pick-up, and delivery options for 15 days. However, customers may still go inside a restaurant dining room or at a fast-food establishment,to place a carryout order.The city of Houston expects to begin COVID-19 testing this week. Mayor Turner will announce the testing site procedures and logistics later this week. 
Read More