Houston officials are uniting to combat crimes against convenience stores. City Mayor Bill White has put together a task forcededicated to reducing these crimes and making stores safer forboth employee and customers.
“We’re going to be looking into various crime prevention plansto help c-store owners,” said Officer Muzafar Siddiqi of theHouston Police Department.
A member of the task force himself, Officer Siddiqi is no stranger to c-store crime prevention in the area. After a series ofc-store murders in 2000, Houston’s former mayor appointedSiddiqi to serve as a convenience store liaison between the policeand retailers. Due to his dissent and multi-lingual skills, OfficerSiddiqi has been able to form a bond with the primarily Indian andPakistani storeowners in the area, frequently visiting and helpingthem with various crime awareness issues that can sometimesplague c-stores.
Because of his expertise, Siddiqi was a no-brainer for joiningthe task force made up of local police officers, council membersand, of course, c-store owners. The group will meet regularly to discuss what’s currently going on and what can be done to makec-stores safer in the community. After four months, the task forcewill report their findings to Mayor White.
“We’re going to look into the needs of c-stores owners,” saidSiddiqi. “Then our findings will be reported to Mayor White, who willdiscuss with us any changes that can be made.”