The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening
Crime Stoppers of Houston officially cut the ribbon and opened the doors to the first-ever Crime Stoppers headquarters anywhere in the world on Friday, January 27, 2017. After 36 years of exemplary service in Houston, the historical building became Crime Stoppers’ first permanent home. More than 250 prominent individuals including elected officials, community partners,foundations and corporations gathered at 3001 Main Street, Houston 77002 to celebrate The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers of Houston. The facility was named in honor of Guinness World Record holder, Dave Ward, for his tenure as a television news anchor and for his significant contributions to the organization since its inception.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony began with a presentation of colors and singing of the National Anthem by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, followed by a warm welcome from Rania Mankarious, Executive Director of Crime Stoppers. Houston City Council Member Brenda Stardig then took the stage to present a proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner declaring January 27, 2017 as the “First-ever Crime Stoppers Headquarters Day”. Mankarious introduced Fenner Weller, Capital Campaign Co-chair and he spoke about the campaign to build the City’s first public safety and crime prevention block and then an introduction to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick followed. Once again, Mankarious kindly thanked Ward, the Building’s Namesake for his incredible contribution to public safety and for putting Crime Stoppers of Houston in the national and international spotlight, and then invited him to take the stage.
Ward remarked that he will continue to maintain a presence in Houston and left the crowd cheering with his famous and internationally recognized Crime Stoppers Tip Line reenactment. Texas State Troopers presented Ward with a plaque and an official Texas Trooper cowboy hat for his dedication to helping law enforcement. The crowd gave Ward a standing ovation when Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented Ward with a Congressional Resolution that proclaims Ward’s achievements in public safety. Mankarious and Crime Stoppers of Houston immediate past Board Chairmen Don DeGabrielle and Board Chairman Hazem Ahmed presented Ward with an “official” oversized keepsake key to The Dave Ward Building. With the key, Ward will forever have an office at the Crime Stoppers’ headquarters. Mankarious gave her closing remarks and announced the Ribbon Cutting.
The festivities continued after the doors to the building opened. Everyone was invited inside, where Crime Stoppers of Houston unveiled a surprise for the Building Namesake. Behind the curtains, the Dave Ward Tribute Wall was exposed and included photos spanning Ward’s career. Memorabilia from Ward’s career are also in display throughout the building. Guests were invited to a reception and a tour of the facility. Food and drinks were provided by Kroger.
Notable elected officials included: Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, State Representative Tom Oliverson, Harris County Commissioner Jack Cagle, Council Member Brenda Stardig, Council Member Jack Christie, Council Member Karla Cisneros, Council Member Mike Knox, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Constable Alan Rosen, and others.
Others celebrating with Crime Stoppers included:
Houston Police Department Chief of Police Art Acevedo, Laura Ward, Jeff Bagwell, Sue Smith, Leisa Holland-Nelson, Jennifer Reyna, Alan and Gary Becker, Tena Faust, Tama Lundquist, Melanie Lawson, Art Rascon, Joy Partain, Edna Meyer-Nelson, Carol Sawyer, and others.
About The Dave Ward Building, Crime Stoppers Of Houston:
Occupying an entire square block in Midtown, the new Crime Stoppers facility is also the City of Houston’s first Public Safety and Crime Prevention block and serves as a hub for crime prevention – housing centralized Crime Stoppers operations, staff, volunteers, law enforcement, safe community/safe school programming and media outreach teams in a single three-story 28,000-square-foot building.
Each facet of the new Crime Stoppers headquarters works to expand the organization’s community programming and serve its vital mission to solve and prevent crime. The organization recognizes that the community can play an active role in keeping themselves safe, therefore, the entire first floor of the building is designed specifically to service the community at no charge. This includes access to a 2,500 square foot multi-purpose community center that will be used for safety seminars and informational events; a victim’s family services room for families and investigators; press conference room and media editing areas equipped with on-site tools available to members of the media to relay important, time-sensitive information to news outlets.
Additionally and within a highly secure setting, law enforcement partners assigned to the Crime Stoppers Tip Line Program (713-222-TIPS) will have a dedicated space to answer the tip line and manage day to day operations.
Outside the facility, a 12,800-square-foot Harris County Sheriff’s Officers Memorial Garden will be built to pay tribute to heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice. This serene memorial – the first ever of its kind paying tribute to fallen County officers, will be overseen daily by an on-site officer and welcome any and all to honor fallen heroes. Moreover, this inviting square will serve as a graceful addition to the revitalized Midtown Houston cityscape and constant reminder of the community’s commitment to crime prevention and resolution.
Photo Credit: Roswitha Vogler, Photos by Rovo