Harris County Sheriff's Office 2021 Law Enforcement Command Annual Report

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It is exciting to see the important gains women have made, and continue to make, in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Women provide unique and

valuable professional qualities to crimi‐ nal justice. These qualities enhance our agency and our ability to make a posi‐ tive impact on our community.

SHERIFF ED GONZALEZ

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“ The inaugural Law Enforcement Command Annual Report is an impressive document containing an amazing number of agency firsts. Despite its many challenges, 2021 was a stellar year for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. I appreciate the hard work and dedication of our team members working to make the HCSO the premiere sheriff’s office in the nation. Together, we can achieve our ultimate goal of a safe and secure community for our citizens.

CHIEF DEPUTY EDISON TOQUICA

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COVER Susan Cotter

Tiffany Pickens

Megan Herrin

PATROL MAJOR

MOTORCYCLE DEPUTY

COMMAND ADMINISTRATIVE SERGEANT

Susan is the first female patrol major in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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Tiffany is the first female motorcycle deputy in the HCSO.

Megan is the first command administrative sergeant.

Erica DuPont

Latavia Davis

TACTICAL FLIGHT OFFICER

TACTICAL FLIGHT OFFICER

Erica is one of the first two female flight officers.

Latavia is one of the first two female flight officers.


Message from Assistant Chief Mike Lee

It is a privilege to serve as Assistant Chief of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Law Enforcement Command. My goal is to help make our agency the premiere sheriff’s office in the nation. We made great progress toward this goal in 2021. It was a remarkable year with sev‐ eral agency firsts. The Law Enforcement Command is developing innovative policies and strategies that are pro‐ viding the highest quality of service to our community. To achieve this, we collaborate with our citizenry, criminal justice, behavioral health, academic, private sector, and govern‐ mental entities. Because of our collaboration, the HCSO was selected as the 2021 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Security Industry Association Michael Shanahan Leadership in Public/Private Cooperation Award winner. We received this prestigious award for collaborat‐ ing with private industry to pilot our innovative award-winning Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) Program. This is the first IACP award received by the HCSO.

Education is the foundation of all we do in the HCSO and it is no surprise that we were one of five law enforcement agencies from across the nation to be selected by the United States Council of State Governments Justice Center as a Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Site. This is a peer-to-peer learning program for law enforcement agencies seeking to build col‐ laborative responses to people who have men‐ tal health needs. The five law enforcement agencies selected join nine previous agencies for a total of 14 learning sites across the nation. These agencies were selected because of their model collaborative programs for responding to individuals with mental illness and other be‐ havioral health problems. We are very proud of the distinction of being one of these 14 desig‐ nated learning sites. We look forward to help‐ ing other agencies develop model strategies for their jurisdictions. As you read through this annual report, I hope you will learn more about our vision and the many accomplishments of the Law Enforce‐ ment Command.

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WORKING TOGETHER To make the Harris County Sheriff’s Office the most professional, responsive, and transparent sheriff’s office in the nation.

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CONTENTS 10

Violent Crime in Unincorporated Harris County

11

Murder Rates Nationally

12

Violent Crime Reduction Strategic Plan

14

Command Leadership Briefing

16

Training Bulletins

17

National Learning Site Program

18

Vietnamese Citizens Police Academy

20

Neighborhood Policing Division

21

Parks Unit

22

ShotSpotter

24

Boarding Home Detail

25

Crime Scene Unit

26

Air Support Receives New Airplane

28

Community Problem Oriented Policing

29

Employ2Empower Workforce Program

30

Drone Program

32

Behavioral Health Division

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18 Vietnamese Citizens Police Academy

22 ShotSpotter


33

CORE Expansion

34

SAFE 35 Interceptor Boat

36

ABLE Training

37

ICAT Training

38

30 x 30 Initiative

39

Livestock Unit

40

Honor Guard

42

Policy Unit

43

Virtual Deputy Program

44

K9 Unit

45

Warrants Division

46

Traffic Crimes Unit

48

40 MM Tactical Launchers

49

IACP Award

50

Holistic Assistance Response Team

52

Items of Note

60

Commendations

62

Data

70

Acknowledgments

71

In Remembrance

26 Air Support receives new state-of-the-art airplane

17

United States Council of State Governments Law Enforcement Mental Health Learning Site Program

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Violent Crime in Unincorporated Harris County 2019 - 2021

+28% in murders (97 in 2019 to 124 in 2021)

+96% in violent crimes

(unincorporated)

Unincorporated Harris County which includes portions of Harris County that fall outside of the City of Houston and other smaller municipalities (map is approximate). Data: Harris County Sheriff’s Office

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(offenses include aggravated assault causing bodily injury, aggravated assault family/ house member, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, assault, assault family/house member, deadly conduct, manslaughter, murder, robbery)


Murder Rates Nationally

Chicago Los Angeles

258

381

392

2019

2020

2021

495

769

797

2019

2020

2021

Harris County (unincorporated)

97

123

124

2019

2020

2021

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Violent Crime Reduction Strategic Plan (2021 - 2024) GOALS Identify and reduce chronic

STRATEGIES Partner with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to identify chronic violent offenders

problems related to violent crime

Analyze available data to assess and identify chronic places, times, and types of offenses related to violent crime Create an internal system to prioritize the service of open warrants related to chronic violent offenders Create systems to share intelligence and data on chronic violent offenders across the agency Create a mechanism or system to have all gun cases reviewed for federal prosecutions in partnership with ATF Houston

Enhance Community En-

Make crime data publicly available on the agency’s website

gagement Adopt a community-oriented policing philosophy across the agency that values systematic problem solving and community partnerships to prevent violent crime Work with a local research partner to conduct an annual survey to identify community concerns about violent crime Develop a youth violent crime prevention program with a credible messenger Develop community advisory groups in areas that experience higher rates of violent crime

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GOALS Increase coordination between the Harris County Sheriff’s

STRATEGIES Harris County will increase coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service and Gulf Coast Offenders Task Force to implement two multi-week operations every year to serve open violent crime warrants

Office and regional public safety and community-based

Establish a re-entry council to provide a collaborative approach to support recently released incarcerated persons

partners Support community-based violence prevention programs that help diffuse volatile situations by deploying response teams which include violence interrupters and mental health professionals Re-establish and enhance monthly meetings with the Texas Anti-Gang (TAG) Center, ATF Houston, and Houston Police Department to encourage communication between intelligence analysts and investigators Expand analytical tactical crime reports to all patrol districts and share the reports with all personnel

Greater Reliance on Technol-

Create a working group across county law enforcement agencies to improve the integrity of RMS data

ogy and Analysis Improve gun crime data collection, analysis, and technology to develop standardized and centralized database collection and sharing protocols Improve the collection and analysis of data to enhance the strategic enforcement of violent crime occurring on Harris County roadways Create a more robust and centralized web-based interface and dashboard for data-driven tools and reporting Explore the expansion of gunshot detection technology to patrol districts

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Captain Nathan Douglas “I have learned about capabilities the HCSO has to offer that I was unaware of. These capabilities im‐ prove the service we deliver to our employees and citizens.”

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Command Leadership Briefing Chief Lee implemented the briefings in 2021. All majors, captain, and directors attend the monthly meetings where they discuss leadership is‐ sues and view presentations on the various programs, units, and divi‐ sions in the Law Enforcement Command.

Major Tony Huynh “The briefing has been instru‐ mental in bridging all entities within the organization together to gain a better understanding of what everyone does and the resources available.”

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Training Bulletins It is essential to dis‐ seminate information to personnel in a timely and effective manner. The Law Enforcement Command Training Bulletin was designed and implemented in 2021 for this purpose. Training bulletins are published on such top‐ ics as legal updates, changes in policy, new policies, and training issues.

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2021 Activity (June - December)

Event

1 of 14 Harris County was one of fourteen jurisdictions nationwide selected as a learning site for programs for responding to individuals with mental illness. These 14 jurisdic‐ tions represent ten states.

Number

Presentations (conference, webinar)

21

Meetings (in-person)

13

Calls/Emails

53

Agencies Accommodated (does not include agencies viewing webinars)

42

Personnel Accommodated (does not include personnel viewing webinars)

48

States Accommodated (does not include those attending webinars)

16

National Law Enforcement - Mental Health Learning Site Program This is a peer-to-peer program administered by the United States Council of State Governments. Learning sites provide assistance in various forms: responding to calls and emails, hosting confer‐ ence calls, providing training, and hosting visits from law enforcement and behavioral health person‐ nel from across the nation. The 14 jurisdictions were designated because of their model collaborative programs for responding to individuals in mental health crisis. The 14 jurisdictions are Arlington, MA; Bexar County, TX; Harris County, TX; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Madison County, TN; Madison, WI; Miami-Dade County, FL; Portland, ME; Salt Lake City, UT; Tucson, AZ; University of Florida; Wichita, KS; and Yavapai County, AZ.

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Vietnamese Citizen Police Academy The Harris County Sheriff’s Office held its first ever Citizen Police Academy for Vietnamese Americans in June 2021. The enthusiastic partic‐ ipants graduated after six weeks of learning about the HCSO through presentations, tours, and hands-on activities. The Citizen Police Academy (CPA) is intended to open the lines of communication between the community and sheriff department and provide the participants with a realistic look at the sheriff department, which is often very different from what is depicted on television and in the movies. The HCSO CPA was held one night a week for six weeks. Citizens receive presentations on the various programs in the HCSO, interact with HCSO staff, and build relationships with them.

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The concept of the CPA started in the United Kingdom in 1977. It started in the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary in the city of Exeter, England. A police night school was imple‐ mented to allow citizens to learn about po‐ lice functions and operations. It was an overwhelming success as the constabulary was flooded with applicants. In 1985, the Orlando, Florida Police Department adopted the concept and created the first CPA in the United States. Orlando’s goal was to re‐ duce crime by developing a rela‐ tionship with its citizens. Or‐ lando’s program was a complete success. Today, CPAs are throughout the United States and the world. CPAs provide positive and proactive contacts be‐ tween police and citi‐ zens.


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Neighborhood Policing Division

Behavioral Health Investigations • Senior Justice Assessment Center (SJAC) • Mental Health/Firearms • Boarding Home Detail

Behavioral Health Training • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) • Integrating Communications, Assessment & Tactics (ICAT) • Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE)

Community Policing • Neighborhood Contract Policing • Community & Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP)

Crisis & Specialized Response Programs • • • •

Crisis Intervention Response Team (CIRT) Clinician & Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) Project Guardian Project Lifesaver

Diversion Programs • Jail Diversion Center • Cite & Release

National Distinction • Council of State Governments Learning Site Program

Neighborhood Quality of Life Teams • Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) • Employ2Empower Workforce Program • Graffiti & Nuisance Abatement

Collaborating with the community to identify and solve neighborhood problems

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Parks Unit

Established in 1997 Assigned to Commissioner Precincts 1 & 2 Proactive CommunityOriented Policing Marked Patrol Vehicles, Bicycles, All-Terrain Vehicles, Foot Patrols, and Follow-up Investigations 101 Hike/Bike Trails 24 Community Centers 23 Other Facilities

Harris County Commissioner Precincts 1 & 2

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ShotSpotter The Harris County Sheriff’s Office implemented the ShotSpotter Precision Policing Platform in 2021. ShotSpotter uses an array of acoustic sensors that are connected wirelessly to their centralized, cloud-based application to reliably detect and accurately triangu‐ late (locate) gunshots. Each acoustic sensor captures the precise time and audio associated with impulsive sounds that may repre‐ sent gunfire.

The data is used to locate the incident and is then filtered by sophisti‐ cated machine algorithms to classify the event as a potential gunshot. Acoustic experts, who are located and staffed in ShotSpotter’s 24x7 In‐ cident Review Center, ensure and confirm that the events are indeed gunfire. They can append the alert with other critical intelligence such as whether a full automatic weapon was fired or whether there are mul‐ tiple shooters. This process takes less than 60 seconds and typically be‐ tween 30 and 45 seconds from the time of the actual shooting to the dig‐ ital alert popping onto a screen of a computer in the 911 Call Center.

Positive Outcomes March 2021 - December 2021

8536

1827

1473

30

Rounds Detected

Alerts Received

Casings Located

Guns Seized

34

44

88

2

Arrests

Charges Filed

NIBIN Leads

Stolen Guns Recovered

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Boarding Home Detail

Established in 2021 Texas lawmakers passed boarding home reform bills in 2021 In March of 2021 Harris County Commissioners Court approved regulations requiring a permit to operate a boarding home in unincorporated areas The Boarding Home Detail serves as the permit administrator for Harris County

2021 ACTIVITY Visits/Contacts

640

Inspections

34

Marshal’s Office, Texas Adult Protective

Employee Permits Issued

151

Services, and the Harris County District At-

8

torney’s Office

Boarding Home Permits Issued Referrals

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108

A collaboration with the Harris County Fire


Crime Scene Unit

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB) accreditation 176 suicide scenes in 2021 Collaborates with the Texas Rangers and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for mass casualties/major events/major crime scenes Responded to 560 scenes in 2021 Specialties and technologies include: Bloodstain Pattern Analysis, 3D Forensic Scanning, National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, and Chemical Processing Lab

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Air Support Receives New Airplane The Houston Ship Channel helped the Harris County Sheriff’s Office purchase a Cirrus SR22 airplane. The primary function of this state-ofthe-art plane, ABLE 4, is to provide security to the Houston Ship Channel. ABLE 4 is also used for surveillance. Due to its speed, ABLE 4 is able to get on scene quickly.

310 hp

1,169 nm

17,500 ft

HORSEPOWER

MAX RANGE 55% POWER)

MAX OPERATING ALTITUDE

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Community Problem Oriented Policing Unit The Community Problem Oriented Policing (CPOP) Unit was formed to foster strong relationships with citizens, gain insight into the unique needs of each community, and empower people with knowledge and resources through collaboration. Each patrol district has two dedicated CPOP deputies who spend their time getting to know the businesses, schools, houses of worship, and neighborhoods in their area. The goal is to get the community involved before a crime takes place; to create a bond before a crisis erupts. Resi‐ dents feel empowered to share their concerns. CPOP uses community and relational policing and the data gained from collaborating with residents to drive down incidents of crime and enhance the quality of life for those living there. CPOP deputies use information proactively to problem solve, to prevent problems from occurring as opposed to being reactive by responding to problems in progress.

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Employ2Empower Workforce Program This is a collaborative community policing program be‐ tween the HCSO, Harris County Precinct Two Commis‐ sioner’s Office, and Career & Recovery Resources, Inc. The program provides employment, affordable housing, and other critical services to individuals experiencing homelessness. Participants earn money by completing community development projects such as removing un‐ wanted graffiti from bridges, roads, and buildings. Partic‐ ipants are provided with transportation, meals throughout the workday, personal protective equipment, and the nec‐ essary training to perform their jobs. Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s Office funded a six-month pilot program starting in June 2021. The pilot has proven to be a success. For the year, 55 individuals participated in the program. Of these, 12% received clothing, 8% re‐ ceived peer support, 20% received identification cards, 12% received food stamps, 14% received housing assess‐ ment, 10% received employment support, 6% were housed, and 11% received cell phones. The goal for 2022 is to expand the program and add addi‐ tional job sites.

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Drone Program The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has made a significant investment in its drone program. Each of the five patrol districts has one deputy assigned as a drone operator on each of three shifts, resulting in 15 patrol drone operators. Additionally, Air Operations has six personnel trained as drone operators and the High Tech Crimes Unit has three drone personnel. The drones are used for search and rescue, natural disaster response, suspect searches, crowd control, scene mapping, assisting with the execution of warrants, accident mapping, SWAT calls, and patrol of the Houston Ship Channel.

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Brandi Wisniewski Administrative Assistant

Thomas McNeese, PhD. Psychologist

Behavioral Health Division The Harris County Sheriff’s Office started the Behavioral Health Division in January 2020. This is the first such division in the agency’s history. The division’s mission is to provide evidence-based behavioral health consultation, outreach, education, and con‐ fidential mental health services to HCSO employees and their eligible dependents in

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Robert Seals, PhD. Psychologist & Director

Harry Mergel, LPC, LMFT, CEAP, M.MFT, Counselor

order to de‐ crease the stigma of mental illness, provide support for mental or behavioral health ill‐ ness/problems, help provide and improve coping skills, and advance employee morale, productivity, and longevity. For 2021, the division had 1081 clinic visits. Clinic services include consultation, evalua‐ tion, individual/couples counseling, depres‐ sion/anxiety/PTSD treatment, alcohol/sub‐ stance abuse counseling, and referrals.

Jeff Manzer, M. Ed, LPC, NCC, Counselor

They conducted 145 wellness checks. These are provided regularly to per‐ sonnel in high-exposure assignments, such as homicide. They responded to 63 incident responses (on-scene support of impacted in‐ dividuals) and conducted 34 post critical in‐ cidents visits (debriefing visits in the imme‐ diate aftermath of a critical incident). The division had 3,324 classroom contact hours and 130 outreach events.


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CORE Reaches New Milestones in 2021 Harris County’s award-winning Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation (CORE) program expanded beyond the HCSO in 2021. The eight Harris County constable offices, the Harris County Fire Marshall’s Office, and the Baytown and Houston Police Depart‐ ments joined. The Metro Police Department is interested in joining in 2022. Additionally, the program has been replicated in jurisdic‐ tions across the state and nation, including Grand Traverse County, MI; Travis County, TX; Plano, TX; and upstate New York. The program connects a behavioral health clinician with a patrol deputy and/or mental health consumer in the field using a computer tablet.

2021 Data - HCSO and Constables 956

547

434

145

Calls for Service

Emergency Deten�ons

Calls Resolved on Scene

Jail Diversions

259

21 Minutes

<1 Minute

iPads Issued

Average Assessment

Average �me for a deputy to connect to a clinician

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SAFE 35 Interceptor

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Maritime Tactical Operations’ New Boat The 35 foot SAFE Boat Multi Mission Interceptor (MMI) is a high-speed interdiction vessel powered by three 350HP Mercury Verado engines. The vessel has a top speed of 55+ knots and contains a Sea Keeper Gyro Stabi‐ lizer that basically eliminates the roll of the vessel in rough seas. The MMI also has a Raymarine electronics package with an integrated camera sys‐ tem and radiation detection equipment. The MMI is used for routine pa‐ trols and responds to tactical operations and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high yield explosives (CBRNE) incidents within the Port of Houston and surrounding areas. Founded in 1996, SAFE Boats International (SAFE) designs and builds highly reliable and extremely durable vessels that help keep military, law enforcement and fire professionals safe as they carry out their duties. Headquartered just outside Seattle, Washington in the city of Bremerton, SAFE Boats is 100 percent American owned and operated. The company was named for its pioneering wrap-around collar design: Secure Around Flotation Equipped.

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Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement Training (ABLE) This evidence-based training was developed by George‐ town University Law Center with the goal of preparing criminal justice personnel to successfully intervene to prevent fellow officers from committing acts that may harm citizens or themselves. The intervention can span from seeking help for a fellow deputy or detention officer who seems angry or depressed to stopping a deputy or de‐ tention officer from using excessive force. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first law enforcement agencies in the nation to mandate this train‐ ing for all certified and detention personnel. ABLE is an eight-hour scenario-based class. It was implemented in June 2021. The following is the activity for the class for 2021: •

8,048 contact hours

20 classes taught

1006 personnel taught

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Deputy Chris Wells Lead Instructor


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Integrating Communications, Assessment & Tactics (ICAT) Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) is evidence-based scenario training developed by the Police Ex‐ ecutive Research Forum (PERF) with input from hundreds of police professionals across the United States. The training takes the essential building blocks of critical thinking, crisis interven‐ tion, communications, and tactics and puts them together in an integrated approach to training. ICAT is designed for situations involving persons who are unarmed or armed with weapons other than firearms, and who may be experiencing a mental health or other crisis. The 16-hour training is mandatory for all certified and detention personnel. The following is the activity for the class for 2021:

Students par�cipa�ng in a training scenario

25,552 contact hours

33 classes taught

1598 personnel taught

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30 x 30

ADVANCING WOMEN IN POLICING 30% WOMEN RECRUITS BY 2030

12%

30%

Female officers 2021 (Na�onal average)

Female officers 2030 (Na�onal average)

The 30 x 30 initiative is a coalition of police leaders, researchers, and professional organizations who have jointed together to advance the representation and experiences of women in all ranks of policing across the United States.

Research suggests that women officers …

Use less force and less excessive force

Are named in fewer complaints and lawsuits

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Are perceived by the community as being more honest and compassionate

See be�er outcomes for crime vic�ms, especially in sexual assault cases

Make fewer discre�onary arrests, especially for non-white residents


Livestock Unit The unit was established in 1973 and serves all 1,778 square miles of Harris County. The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the law enforcement of livestock by statute. The unit consists of one sergeant and six deputies. Their responsibilities include the enforcement of livestock laws, neglect, cruelty, and the abandonment of livestock or strays. The unit’s main purpose is to protect the citizens of Harris County from property and personal damage stemming from stray livestock (domestic and exotic). The unit responded to 1,486 calls for service in 2021. for the care of impounded livestock. This in‐ cludes housing, feeding, and veterinary care. Deputies assigned to the Livestock Unit must maintain the barns, pens, fences, and fields/ pastures where the animals are kept. Livestock deputies also construct and/or repair various structures that house impounded animals and must have light mechanical skills required for In addition to locating owners and/or im‐ ranching and maintaining farm equipment. All livestock animals impounded must be held pounding livestock, deputies are responsible Livestock is defined as domestic hoofed mammals such as cows, horses, pigs, goats, sheep, etc. Exotic livestock includes zebras, llamas, emus, ostrich, and peacocks to name a few. The HCSO Livestock Unit is the ONLY police authority allowed to impound stray livestock in Harris County per the Texas Agriculture Code, Section 142.

for eighteen (18) days unless the owner comes forward and claims it. At the expiration of the 18 days, the livestock can only be sold at auction or donated to a non-profit animal rescue organization. Per state law, the Sheriff’s Office cannot sell or donate animals to individuals.

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Honor Guard The Honor Guard was formed in December 1977 primarily for the purpose of providing appropriate honors for the funeral services of Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies slain in the line of duty. The Honor Guard subsequently expanded to in‐ clude escorts of honor for peace offices from other agencies and participation in funerals for retired and active duty personnel who die by natural causes. The Honor Guard also appears at parades and other public functions as requested. The Honor Guard conducts ceremonies in the fol‐ lowing circumstances: •

All HCSO personnel killed “In the Line of Duty”

All sworn personnel of other agencies in Har‐ ris County killed “In the Line of Duty” when requested to handle the bulk of the ceremony

Out of county “In the Line of Duty” deaths within a 300-mile radius when requested to handle the bulk of the ceremony

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Dignitaries as determined by the proper authority

Harris County Memorial Day

State of Texas Peace Officers Memorial Day, Austin, TX

National Peace Officers Memorial Day, Wash‐ ington, D.C.

Peace

Officers


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Policy & Performance Standards Units The Policy Unit The Policy Unit was formed to draft, revise, and review all depart‐ mental policies and procedures. This unit is in the process of stan‐ dardizing all policies and procedures and putting them on the agency’s intranet in a user friendly format. The unit conducts re‐ search on specific topics and searches for best practices across the nation. To ensure the policies and procedures are legally sound, the unit works with the County Attorney’s Office, county officials, and subject matter experts.

Performance Standards Unit The Performance Standards Unit is the checks and balances of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s policies and procedures. This unit conducts evaluation on various topics as directed by the Sheriff. These evaluations are established to determine if rules and regula‐ tions are in compliance. Areas of evaluation could be budget items, inventories, procedures, pay, or any area of responsibility the Sheriff would like to have evaluated.

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Deputy Yazan Yousef developed an agency-first dashboard for policies, procedures, and training bulletins. He also redesigned the format for policies and procedures.


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Used with a mobile device or computer with a camera

Can talk with a deputy via Zoom

Safe, fast and convenient

Types of reports taken are lost property, theft and vandalism

Innovative Virtual Deputy Program

Responded to 14,676 calls and generated 3,755 reports in 2021

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K9 Unit The Harris County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit consists of 25 K9 teams: •

12 positions in the Greater Houston Region as certifying officials on the board of directors for the National Detector Dog Association. As the re‐ gional training provider, the HCSO K9 Unit has over 25,000 contact hours and approximately 7,500 contact hours for 2021 with the following agencies: •

Four Explosive/Mobile Odor Detection Teams. The teams are uti‐ •

Harris County Constables Offices

lized to conduct sweeps of infrastructure and can be used to detect • body worn IED suicide bombs (devices on persons at sporting • events, political conventions, etc.).

Hempstead Police Department

One Dual Purpose Patrol and Explosive Team. This team is used for

locating and apprehending fleeing suspects in addition to explosive • detection as described above. • •

Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office

Houston Police Department Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Roman Forest Police Department Waller County Sheriff’s Office

Two Contraband Teams. These teams are primarily assigned to the detention facilities. They are trained to detect tobacco, narcotics, cellphones, and electronic storage components which are all prohib‐ ited for inmates within secure detention facilities.

One Narcotics Team. Used for detecting narcotics.

Seventeen Dual Purpose Patrol and Narcotics Teams. Two of these teams are SWAT trained and certified for deployment to SWAT scenes.

The HCSO K9 Unit is the regional K9 training entity for the Greater Houston and surrounding areas. The HCSO currently holds four of the

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Deputy Kelley Divine and her K9 partner Margarita


2021 Activity

Warrants Division

FUGITIVE TRAVEL

GCVOFTF EVENTS Out of FUGITIVE TRAVEL Felony Warrants Cleared

Out of County Trips Trips

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Division is responsible for the management and execution of felony and misdemeanor arrest war‐ rants for Harris County. The division is comprised of the following sec‐ tions and units: •

Local Warrant Specialists who verify warrants;

Entry Record Specialists who enter warrants into the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and National Crime Information Center (NCIC);

Fugitive Record Specialists who handle county and out-of-state fugitives, extraditions, and bench warrants;

Violent Crime Apprehension Team (VCAT) that handles all homi‐ cides and special requests;

Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force (GCVOFTF) that handles fugitive extraditions; and

Crime Stoppers.

There has been an explosion of warrants in Harris County during the last four years and an exceptionally high number in 2021. The HCSO re‐ ceived an average of 4,085 warrants a month in 2018. That average grew to 5,476 a month in the first six months of 2021. In May 2021, there were 524 open murder warrants in Harris County. The following is the activity for the Warrants Division for 2021.

Warrant Arrests

1,073 631

LOCALS SECTION Felony Warrants Cleared

564

Misdemeanor Warrants Cleared

123

FUGITIVE TRAVEL Out of County Trips Number of Trips

2,228

Defendants Transported

3,559

FUGITIVE TRAVEL Out of State Trips Number of Trips

181

Defendants Transported

189

TCIC/NCIC ACTIVITY Felony Entries

22,213

Misdemeanor Entries

16,862

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Traffic Crimes Unit The Traffic Crimes Unit focuses on street racing, deadly vehicular conduct, and reckless driving. The unit’s mission is to reduce fatal crashes and property damage by suppressing illegal street racing and a popular trend known as parking lot and intersection takeovers. In March 2021, a very popular and well-known annual racing event known as Texas 2k21 was held in Houston. A multi-agency operation was con‐ ducted and over 2900 traffic stops were made, over 2300 citations issued, 12 vehicles were seized, and 200+ custodial arrests were made. The following are the criminal charges filed by the Traffic Crimes Unit in 2021.

Criminal Charges Filed in 2021 Racing Reckless Driving Deadly Conduct DWI Felony Arrests

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152 86 54 71 66


2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 47


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40MM Tactical Single Launchers The HCSO received a grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program that will provide the agency with the following: •

91 40MM Single Launchers with single point slings and soft carry cases

834 Direct Impact Marking rounds

576 training rounds

The launchers and rounds were scheduled to be received in De‐ cember 2021. Supply chain problems delayed delivery. It is an‐ ticipated the launchers will be delivered in the first quarter of 2022. The goal of the launchers is to avoid the need to resort to a higher level of force whenever possible. When a call for service has in‐ formation to reasonably believe a subject may be armed with a weapon - but not a firearm - a team member equipped with a launcher must be dispatched to respond. Personnel will be re‐ quired to successfully complete a training course to be eligible to carry a launcher.

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FEATURES • • • • • • •

Lightweight (3.5 lbs.) Adjustable Integrated Front Grip with Light Rail Single / Double Action S&W Trigger Group Ambidextrous Breach Release 14” Barrel Precision Manufactured by Lewis Machine & Tool Picatinny Top Rail with Beaded Sight


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HCSO Receives IACP Award The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders. With more than 31,000 members in over 165 countries, the IACP is a recognized leader in global policing, committed to ad‐ vancing safer communities through thought‐ ful, progressive police leadership.

“The Harris County Sheriff’s Office is an exemplary police agency and leader in the field of community safety.” - IACP The IACP selected the Harris County Sher‐ iff’s Office from law enforcement agencies across the world to receive their 2021 IACP/ Security Industry Association Michael Shanahan Leadership in Public/Private Co‐ operation Award. The HCSO received the award for collaborating with private and pub‐

(Left to right) Chief Deputy Edison Toquica, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Assistant Chief Mike Lee

lic entities to develop the Clinician and Offi‐ cer Remote Evaluation (CORE) Telehealth Program for patrol deputies. The HCSO worked with JSA Telehealth; Cloud 9, a soft‐ ware development company in Austin; Harris County Emergency Corps; Verizon Wireless; and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. This collaborative work group developed the program that now includes the eight Harris County constable offices, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Houston and

Baytown police departments. Several jurisdictions across the state and na‐ tion have replicated Harris County’s pro‐ gram. These jurisdictions include Grand Tra‐ verse County, MI; Plano, TX; Travis County, TX; and upstate New York. Several other ju‐ risdictions across the nation have contacted Harris County about starting a similar pro‐ gram.

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 49

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HCSO Playing Key Role in Developing an Alternative 911 Response Program Harris County is developing a model alternative 911 response program titled the Holistic Assistance Re‐ sponse Team (HART). The HCSO is a key partici‐ pant. Law enforcement officers have become the respon‐ ders to community social service/social welfare and health calls that are not violent and where there is no criminal nexus. Examples of these types of calls in‐ clude disputes over noise levels, trespassing, disputes between spouses, intoxicated person, disorderly juve‐ nile, truancy, panhandling, homeless complaints, dis‐ putes between neighbors, drug overdose, behavioral health crisis, children refusing to take medication, suicide crisis, and minor medical situations. One study in 2020 found the police departments it exam‐ ined spend as much as 37% of their time on these nonviolent, non-criminal social service calls.

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Jurisdictions across the nation are moving to elimi‐ nate, when possible, law enforcement personnel from responding to these types of calls. The goal of HART is to divert non-violent, non-criminal 911 social ser‐ vice/social welfare and health calls from law enforce‐ ment to unarmed responders who are trained in be‐ havioral health, crisis intervention, and on-scene medical assistance. HART will serve as a fourth branch of Harris County’s first responder system. Although the program will be placed in Harris County Public Health, the HCSO will play a pivotal role. Dispatch, for example, will be an integral part of the program. And there will be interaction between HART teams and the HCSO. HART may request the assistance of deputies and deputies will make refer‐ rals to HART.

Harris County 911 Crisis Response


HART Strengthens Current HCSO Crisis Response Strategies

CIRT

CORE

HOT

HART

Individuals in serious mental health crisis, potentially violent, many requiring emergency detention. Department’s highest-level response.

When CIRT is not available. Award winning innovative program connecting a patrol deputy and/or consumer with a clinician via an iPad.

Proactive and reactive program responding to individuals experiencing homelessness. Some individuals are potentially dangerous.

Responders trained in behavioral health, crisis intervention, and on-scene medical assistance. Respond to non-violent social service calls.

“For too long, we’ve unfairly placed our peace officers in unten‐ able positions that require the unique skills and training of a mental health expert or social worker. The Holistic Assistance Response Team will use trained professionals to get people the resources they need and make our communities safer.” - Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 51


Items of Note COPS Grant

J. Stannard Baker Award

Bureau of Justice Assistance Award

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The Harris County Sheriff’s Office received a $200k grant from the Com‐ munity Oriented Policing Services of the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant pays for overtime for instructors in the Behavioral Health Training Unit to teach mental health/de-escalation classes. These classes include the 40-hour mental health class, ICAT, and ABLE.

Major Susan Cotter received the J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety at the National Sheriffs’ Association Conference in Phoenix, AZ in June 2021. Major Cotter received the award for her significant contribu‐ tions to traffic enforcement and roadway safety throughout her public ser‐ vice career. Major Cotter is over the Patrol Bureau.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office received a $100,000 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program for 40MM Single Launchers, less lethal munitions, and training rounds. The launchers will give deputies the ability to expand the distance to attempt to resolve a situation safely.


Items of Note Warrants Division Recognized by Marshals Service

Purple Ribbon Award

Lt. Kacey Haberland

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division is part of the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force (GCVOFTF) which was presented with the 40th Director’s Honorary Award for Distinguished Group by U.S. Marshals Service Director Donald W. Washington. The task force arrested 4,891 fugitives, 168 gang members, and located 17 missing children in one year. Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Arthur Fernandez said, “The professionalism of the sheriff’s deputies and sergeants assigned to the task force is an example of the best resources and partnerships the USMS has across the country. The successful apprehen‐ sion of the area’s most violent offenders, high profile targets, and the over‐ all volume of cases handled by the task force is recognized by our Inves‐ tigative Operations Division and the Director of the U.S. Marshals in Washington, D.C.”

Sergeant John Klafka, of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, received the inaugural Purple Ribbon Award from DomesticShelters.org for his substan‐ tial impact on the lives of domestic violence victims and survivors. Prior to working in the Domestic Violence Unit, Sergeant Klafka worked in the Crime Victim Assistance Unit where he was instrumental in implementing the Safe Surrender Program and the Sheriff’s Mobile Advocacy Response Team (SMART).

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 53


Items of Note

Textbook Contributor

Award of Excellence

Harris County Safe Program

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Sergeant Daniel Dellasala, assigned to the Crime Scene Unit, is a published contributor to a crime scene textbook titled Crime Scene Documentation. Sergeant Dellasala wrote on Bloodstain Pattern Analysis and 3D Forensic Scan‐ ning.

Patrol Deputy Joshua Blair received a Crime Scene Unit Award of Excellence for his actions that aided in solving an aggravated robbery. Deputy Blair col‐ lected fingerprints from a cash register counter that were submitted to the Fric‐ tion Ridge section of the CSU. A suspect was subsequently identified and charged.

Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a violent crime ini‐ tiative, #HarrisCountySafe, a data-driven policing initiative targeting communi‐ ties with the highest incidence of violent crime in unincorporated Harris County.


Items of Note

CSU Accreditation

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit (CSU) received accreditation through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) National Accreditation Board (ANAB). The CSU received laboratory accreditation in four categories: Bloodstain pattern Analy‐ sis (BPA), Friction Ridge Section (FRS), Firearms & Tool Mark Components, and Crime Scene Investigation. In 2021, an ANAB as‐ sessor conducted a two-day onsite inspection of the CSU in all four disciplines, with a particular focus on reconstruction. The CSU passed the assessment in all disciplines. ANAB has provided accreditation of forensic service providers since 1982, make them the longest es‐ tablished provider of accreditation based on ISO standards for forensic agencies in the United States.

CSU NIBIN Grant

The Crime Scene Unit (CSU) received a $220k federal grant for a Na‐ tional Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) system. This is a program administered by the ATF and operated by state and local law enforcement partner agencies. NIBIN analyzes and matches shell cas‐ ings recovered in separate incidents to identify suspect(s) in cases where the suspect(s) was unknown. The HCSO CSU NIBIN system is performing above 93% for spent casings triaged within ten days from patrol’s submissions, and at 100% for spent casings triaged within less than 48 hours of receipt by the CSU.

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 55


Items of Note Outstanding Service Award

Large Drug Seizure

Silent Hero Award

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Deputy Brandon Lugo received an Outstanding Service Award at the 2021 Salute Our Heroes recognition event hosted by TxDOT and MADD. Deputy Lugo received the award for his dedication to eliminating drunk and drugged driving. Deputy Lugo is assigned to the Patrol Bureau.

K9 RTIC helped seize more than 40 kilograms of methamphetamine during a traffic stop. With RTIC is his handler, Deputy Tim Robinson. In 2021, $1.5 million in narcotics was seized through K9 alerts.

Communications Officer Marsha Shamlin was recognized as a 2020 Silent Hero by the Texas National Emergency Number Association (NENA), a membership organization dedicated to ensuring all residents have immediate access to 911 and emergency safety services. Marsha has nearly 17 years of service on the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.


Items of Note

National Alliance on Mental Illness Unit Award

CIT Deputy of the Quarter Award

The Behavioral Health Training Unit received an award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Greater Houston. The award recog‐ nized the efforts and dedication of the unit, training over 3,000 personnel in the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) class between 2017 and 2020 and training over 1,000 personnel between the 40-hour CIT class and the new Integrating Communications, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT) class in the first six months of 2021. (Unit photo left to right) Deputy Aaron Brown, lead ICAT instructor. Aaron has 10 years of law enforcement experience and is a four-year veteran of the HCSO. Deputy Eric Ur‐ iegas (center foreground) is the lead detention training instructor. Eric was the first to join the unit in 2017 as a detention officer. He left to attend the academy to become a certified deputy and returned to the unit in 2021. Deputy Carson McMath, lead CIT instructor. Deputy McMath is an eight-year veteran of the HCSO. He promoted to sergeant later in 2021 and now works in the jail. The unit is supervised by Sergeant Jose (Rico) Gomez (center background).

Deputy Noe Rodriguez received the National Alliance on Mental Illness Deputy of the Quarter Award for a call involving an armed male who was hold‐ ing his baby hostage. The suspect, who spoke only Spanish, appeared homici‐ dal and suicidal and had been involved in a disturbance with his wife. The sus‐ pect refused to leave the house and stated numerous times that he would rather die than give the baby up. After talking with the suspect for an hour and a half, Deputy Rodriguez was able to convince the suspect to give the baby to him. The situation was resolved safely due to Deputy Rodriguez’s actions.

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 57


Items of Note Deputy of the Year

Emergency Dispatch Center

Deputy Dhaliwal Honored

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Deputy Jack Ferrell received the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Founda‐ tion Deputy of the Year Award. Deputy Ferrell’s work has directly led to the suppression/destruction of one of the most violent gangs in Harris County. Deputy Ferrell, along with his squad members and members of a federal task force, charged multiple gang members with murder, capital murder, federal weapons charges, and organized crime. He is a consum‐ mate professional in all aspects of his work.

The Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) has specialized lighting with dis‐ patch terminals that change colors. The different colors are used to honor different awareness months, e.g., Autism Awareness Month (April, blue), Mental Health Awareness Month (May, green), etc. Pictured is the center lit up in purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).

The United States Post Office at 315 Addicks Howell Road in west Har‐ ris County was named after fallen Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal who was killed by a gunman who opened fire on him during a traffic stop. The incident occurred on September 27, 2019. Deputy Dhaliwal was a hero and trailblazer known for his kindness and acceptance of others. He was the first Sikh deputy in Harris County who proudly wore a distinctive turban.


Items of Note 9/11 Commemorative Badge

Commemorative Autism Badge

Commemorative Domestic Violence Badge

As a tribute to the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, team members were able to purchase 9/11 20th Anniversary Commemo‐ rative badges. 842 badges were purchased. Twenty years later, our hearts remain with those who lost loved ones on 9/11. Ten percent of the pro‐ ceeds of the sale of the badges - $2,966.60 - was donated to Tunnel to Towers, a nonprofit that offers the construction of mortgage-free smart homes to injured veterans, police officers, and firefighters. During the month of April, team members purchased 815 commemora‐ tive blue badges featuring the autism awareness puzzle piece. The badges were worn during the month to bring attention to Autism Spectrum Dis‐ order and to support those living with it. The distinctive blue badge was engraved with the words “Help Create a Kinder World” reinforcing the Harris County Sheriff’s Office promise to do all we can to improve inter‐ actions with citizens. The number of badges sold was more than any other law enforcement agency in the nation. Ten percent of the proceeds of the sale of the badges - $2,490.30 - went to an organization called Autism Speaks. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Commemo‐ rative badges were made to bring attention and awareness to this issue. From 2019 to 2020, the Texas Council on Family Violence discovered there was a 23% increase in the number of domestic violence homicides across Texas. Team members purchased 431 badges totaling $15,150. The Katy Christian Ministries Crisis Center received 10% of the pro‐ ceeds.

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 59


COMMENDATIONS Team members receiving commendations for bravery, lifesaving efforts, and a range of commendable performance. (Photographs not available for all recipients)

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2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 61


2021 Data

UNINCORPORATED HARRIS COUNTY

CALLS FOR SERVICE 260,549

209,624

219,963

DISTRICT ONE

DISTRICT THREE

DISTRICT FIVE

222,855

445,443

1,358,434

DISTRICT TWO

DISTRICT FOUR

TOTAL

POPULATION

2.06 MILLION AREA

1778 SQUARE MILES

52,459 CASES RECEIVED (CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS BUREAU)

1,721 PEACE OFFICERS

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115,569

111,862

TRAFFIC STOPS (PATROL BUREAU)

REPORTS WRITTEN (PATROL BUREAU)

306 CIVILIAN PERSONNEL

192 CERTIFIED CIVILIAN PERSONNEL


HOMELAND SECURITY TASK FORCE 6

13

6

BUREAUS

DIVISIONS

MAJORS

$15+ MILLION CURRENCY SEIZED

4.5 MILLION GRAMS

5

1,673

105

DIRECTORS

FELONY WARRANTS CLEARED (WARRANTS DIVISION)

SWAT SCENES

NARCOTICS/CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES SEIZED

500 466 NUMBER OF GUNS SEIZED

9,401 FELONY ARRESTS (PATROL BUREAU)

743

32,367

JAIL DIVERSIONS

MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 63


PATROL CRIME REDUCTION UNIT (CRU) 58

12

37

BOMB UNIT CALL OUTS

MARINE UNIT CALL OUTS

DIVE TEAM CALL OUTS

396 GANG MEMBERS DOCUMENTED

722

743

115

1,033,620

AIR OPERATIONS MISSIONS

AIR OPERATIONS VEHICLES PURSUED

CALLS RECEIVED BY DISPATCH

NUMBER OF FIREARMS SEIZED

27,103 1,660 FELONY ARRESTS

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NUMBER OF MOTORIST ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MAP) INCIDENTS

10,778

13,871

TRAFFIC STOPS BY THE MOTORCYCLE DETAIL

WARNINGS ISSUED BY MOTORCYCLE DETAIL


CONTRACT DEPUTY PROGRAM 2,526

2,463

7

CITATIONS ISSUED BY MOTORCYCLE DETAIL

DWI ARRESTS

CITIZEN POLICE ACADEMY CLASSES

126 NUMBER OF CONTRACTS

63,242 328 DEPUTIES ASSIGNED

10 SERGEANTS ASSIGNED

ITEMS TAGGED INTO EVIDENCE BY PROPERTY ROOM

4,225

89%

FIREARMS TAKEN IN BY PROPERTY ROOM

HOMICIDE CLEARANCE RATE

121

4,018

1,166

SENIOR JUSTICE ASSESSMENT CENTER (SJAC) REFERRALS

CRISIS INTERVENTION RESPONSE TEAM (CIRT) CALLS FOR SERVICE

CRISIS INTERVENTION RESPONSE TEAM (CIRT) EMERGENCY DETENTIONS

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 65


PATROL BUREAU

TRAFFIC CRIMES

TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT

UNIT

K9 UNIT

25 DOGS

20,883 STOPS

152 RACING ON HIGHWAY ARRESTS

351 SUSPECTS LOCATED AND/OR APPREHENDED

10,873 CITATIONS

38 CARS SEIZED

9,454 WARNINGS

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$1.6+ MILLION

GUNS SEIZED

AMOUNT SEIZED FROM K9 NARCOTICS ALERTS


RESERVES

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

HOMELESS OUTREACH

TRAINING UNIT

TEAM (HOT)

9,029

3,459

2,913

CALLS FOR SERVICE

PERSONNEL TAUGHT

HOMELESS OUTREACH TEAM CONTACTS

232 ARRESTS

1,213 SHIFTS WORKED

60,264

87

CONTACT HOURS

NUMBER OF HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS HOUSED

4

2,986

INSTRUCTORS

AID ITEMS PROVIDED

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 67


Behavioral Health Data

Suicide Attempt

Deputy Use of Force 1%

21%

79% 99%

Yes

Force Used

No

CIT Trained Deputy Dispatched To the Scene

No Force Used

Gender

29% 44%

71%

Yes

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56%

No

Male

Female


Veteran

HCSO Calls for Service 7123

3%

2244 1544 97%

Mental Health

Homeless

Mental Health and Homeless

No

Suicide Attempt by Method 550

Yes

Call Disposition 3681

515 462 397

201 111

Unknown

Edged Weapon

Overdose

Other

Firearm

Hanging

979

97

Jumper

Emergency Detention

Resolved on Scene

136

59

Jail

Transported (home, shelter, etc.)

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 69


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Katrina Arnim, Executive Director

Sharon Steinmann

Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation

PHOTOGRAPHS

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, with the Hamilton Family Foundation, funded the copying and binding of the annual report. For more information on the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation visit their website at https://hcsof.org.

Sharon is a Multimedia Specialist in the Executive Bu‐ reau of the HCSO. Many of the photographs in this report were taken by Sharon, including the cover photo.

Frank Webb PROJECT MANAGEMENT Sergeant Megan Herrin PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Frank is a project manager in the Law Enforcement Com‐ mand. Along with Sergeant Herrin, Frank managed the research, writing, coordinating, publishing and distribu‐ tion of the report.

Megan is the administrative sergeant to Assistant Chief Mike Lee. Along with Frank Webb, Megan managed the research, writing, coordinating, publishing and distribu‐ tion of the report.

Carolyn and Tom Hamilton

Carlos Rangel

The Tom and Carolyn Hamilton Family Foundation, through the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation, provided funding for the copying and binding of this re‐ port. Carolyn and Tom are long-time supporters of law enforcement and mental health in Houston/Harris County, having funded several projects and scholarships. Carolyn served the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Greater Houston for over 26 years in various leadership roles, including Board President and member‐ ship chair. She is the recipient of the 2009 Jackie Shan‐ non Enduring Volunteer Award and 2018 Dedication to the Cause Award.

GRAPHICS AND PHOTOS Carlos is the Digital Graphics Coordinator for the HCSO. Carlos provides graphic and photographic assistance. He designed the front and back covers.

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Hamilton Family Foundation


IN REMEMBRANCE Detention Officer Robert Perez

Deputy Alexander Gwosdz

February 2, 2021

APRIL 22, 2021

Detention Officer Perez passed away from complications of COVID-19. He was a U.S. Navy veteran serving 10 years and rising to the rank of E-3. He was a radio man with top secu‐ rity clearance. He joined the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and worked the Jail for five years. Deputy Perez consistently reported for duty during a difficult and unprecedented time. He understood the responsibility of his role and was honored to earn the public’s faith and trust.

Deputy Gwosdz passed away from complica‐ tions of COVID-19. Alexander joined the agency in 2012 as a detention officer. He be‐ came a peace officer in 2014 by graduating from the HCSO academy. He served as a pa‐ trol deputy in northwest Harris County pa‐ trolling the neighborhood where he grew up. He was also a member of the High-Water Res‐ cue Team. Alexander’s father retired from the HCSO after 34 years of honorable service.

Deputy Shaun Waters

Deputy Joshua Sieman

AUGUST 1, 2021

OCTOBER 21, 2021

Deputy Waters passed away from complica‐ tions of COVID-19. Shaun joined the agency in 2010 and served in many capacities, includ‐ ing detention officer, patrol field training offi‐ cer, and firearms instructor. His greatest pas‐ sion was teaching and mentoring the next gen‐ eration of deputies. Shaun’s spouse serves with the Southside Place Police Department.

Deputy Sieman passed away from complica‐ tions of COVID-19. Joshua joined the agency in 2016. He was assigned to the evening shift in Patrol District 5 where he served as a mem‐ ber of the Crime Reduction Unit. Deputy Sie‐ man was also a member of the High-Water Rescue Team. In 2019, Joshua and two fellow deputies received the Bravery Award for their heroic response to a domestic violence-related incident.

2021 ANNUAL REPORT / 71