Houston police commanders – in charge of security for Super Bowl 51 – today (February 7) announced a significant reduction in arrests during the 10 days of events compared to arrests made the last time the city hosted the Super Bowl back in 2004.
Preliminary data indicates there were only 107 Super Bowl-related arrests over a 10-day period despite tens of thousands of citizens and visitors attending the events daily.
By comparison, the four days of events involving the 2004 big game netted 189 arrests.
Police Chief Art Acevedo offered high praise to the men and women at HPD and the 40+ law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly to help keep the events safe. “I have received so many laudatory remarks about the excellence of our police officers. Their warmth, care and professionalism was on full display and noticed by our community members and visitors,” said Chief Acevedo. “A huge thanks goes to our local, state and federal partners for helping make Houston shine and show the world how teamwork has a lasting impression on all,” the chief added.
HPD Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik, overall Public Safety Coordinator in charge of security for this year’s Super Bowl, attributed the low arrest numbers in part to police visibility at all locations. He broke down the top five categories of arrests:
- 21 Vice Prostitution
- 19 Public Intoxication
- 11 Trademark / Counterfeit with illegal items seized worth a MSRP of $825,000
- 8 Assault
- 8 Open Warrant
Included in the above number are five arrests that occurred at NRG Stadium:
- 2 Public Intoxication
- 1 Criminal Trespass
- 1 Possession of Narcotics
- 1 Assault
The arrests occurred at an official Super Bowl venue (NFL Experience, Super Bowl Live, NRG Stadium, etc.) and or dealing with the NFL, such as trademark and counterfeiting.
Captain Dan Harris of the HPD Vice Division stated the 21 arrests involving prostitution were only about 10% of all arrests task force officers made in the 10-day operation period. “As we promised in a news conference prior to the Super Bowl events, we are publicizing the mug shots of those johns (buyers) arrested and charged during the operation in an effort to deter more individuals from feeding the prostitution and human trafficking industry in our city,” said Captain Harris.
The mug shots of the more than 100 johns are available on the HPD flickr page at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/houstonpolice/albums/72157679934248766