Just When You Thought it was Safe to go Back in the Kitchen…
by Bob Price on June 23, 2010 at 5:46 PM
One of the biggest disasters of the administration of former Mayor Bill White was the appointment of Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt. Apparently President Barrack Obama is now consulting with Bill White on new hires for the battle to secure our communities from the pitfalls of our failed immigration policy.
Today, President Obama appointed former Chief Hurtt to be the Director of the Office of State and Local Coordination for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If you are concerned about border security and removing the criminal element of the illegal alien population, this is the worst possible pick he could make.
One need only look at his record of appeasement of open border activists groups in Houston, to the neglect of his primary duty of protecting the lives of the citizens of Houston and the police officers who worked for him to see what a glaring blunder this is. Houston Police Officers Henry Canales, Gary Gryder and Rodney Johnson lost their lives in the line of duty. All killed by illegal aliens who had been in the justice system before and who were still walking freely around the city of Houston. Officer Rick Salter was also shot and permanently injured by yet another repeat criminal, illegal alien. After each of these incidents, the public asked Mayor White and Chief Hurtt to re-evaluate their "sanctuary city" policies. After each incident, Chief Hurtt said words to the effect of, "I will make no change in HPD policy as a result of this." Mayor White promised the implementation of the ICE 287g program which would allow HPD jail officers to properly identify illegal aliens and turn them over to ICE. After pressure from the "open borders" crowd and Chief Hurtt, these promises were left unfulfilled.
It was not just Houston Police Officers who faced death from repeat criminal, illegal aliens walking around in Houston. Many civilians were shot, knifed or killed by drunk-driving illegal aliens who had previously been arrested and released back on the streets.
The record clearly shows us a man who refuses to re-evaluate information to make changes to make our communities more secure. He fought relentlessly against changes in Houston to implement measures that would remove criminal illegal aliens. Now he is to be in charge of working with states and local communities to implement the programs he fought long and hard against?
Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE, John Morton, said "[Chief Hurt's] experience and skills will be an invaluable asset to the ICE's outreach and coordination efforts." A recent Houston Chronicle article points out a different opinion of Chief Hurtt's experience and skills.
Hurtt's tenure at HPD was marked by a succession of public safety crises, beginning with a 25 percent hike in the number of homicides in 2005 following an influx of Hurricane Katrina evacuees into the city.
And many HPD officers were angered by Hurtt's orders not to detain illegal immigrants they encountered in Houston, especially after several officers were killed or severely injured by undocumented suspects. Hurtt insisted a change in the city's long-standing policy would not only stop immigrants from helping police investigate local crimes, but tie up officers and significantly increase response times.
Police union officials had little respect for Hurtt, and friction developed over firings and disciplinary actions ordered by the chief — rulings which were often overturned later.
Is this the kind of man we want in charge of helping our cities and states deal with criminal illegal aliens? I think not. What do you think?