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Posts Tagged ‘Adrian Garcia’

Endorsement watch: The other easy call

The Chron makes a ringing endorsement of Sheriff Adrian Garcia for re-election. In the 2008 elections, Adrian Garcia received more votes than any other candidate in Harris County. His record in office merits a similar outcome in 2012. With Garcia as sheriff, a $56 million budget overrun has become a $3 million surplus, overcrowded jails […]

The Sheriff’s Crisis Intervention team

It’s a really good idea. Crisis intervention teams, tagged to respond to calls involving mentally disturbed subjects, reflect a new wave of law enforcement thinking pioneered by the Memphis, Tenn., Police Department in the 1980s. Such efforts have received renewed attention after a Houston police officer last week fatally shot a mentally ill double-amputee who […]

Fall interview season begins tomorrow

I know that we just finished the primary runoffs, but we’re also now more than halfway through August, so it’s time to start doing interviews with candidates for the fall. I’ll be up candid, I don’t know exactly how many interviews I plan to do. For the most part, I don’t anticipate re-interviewing candidates that […]

Democratic results, Harris County

The good: – Lane Lewis won a full term as HCDP Chair by a 55-45 margin. If you heard a whizzing noise this evening, it was the bullet we all dodged in this race. – Sheriff Adrian Garcia easily won renomination with over 70% of the vote. – State Reps. Garnet Coleman and Borris Miles […]

Endorsement watch: Sheriffs

The Chron endorses Sheriff Adrian Garcia for renomination. When the incumbent took over four years ago, he faced a particularly daunting job. The sheriff’s office had been plagued by a series of controversies ranging from federal investigation of prisoner deaths in Harris County jails to legal battles about unjustified arrests. Newly elected Sheriff Adrian Garcia […]

The Sheriff’s office is hiring

Good. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says by balancing his department’s $392 million budget, he’ll be able to transfer 100 deputies from jail duties to crime-fighting jobs in the next year while hiring hundreds of new civilian jailers. During a news conference Monday, Garcia said when he took office in January 2009 the department was […]

Better budget news

For the city. The city of Houston may have $21 million more in income in the coming fiscal year than it had planned on before Wednesday. That’s when it got the news that the Harris County Appraisal District projects that taxable values in the city — and by extension, the amount of taxes it collects […]

Interview with Sheriff Adrian Garcia

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia was elected in 2008 with the highest vote total of any candidate on the ballot. He inherited an office that was tainted by the scandals of his long-term predecessor, a jail system that was overcrowded, understaffed, unsafe, unsanitary, and under the spotlight of federal and state inspectors, a hiring freeze […]

More on disciplining deputies

Here’s another long Chron story about disciplinary statistics for Harris County Sheriff’s deputies. Reading through it, I felt like there was some context missing. A Houston Chronicle review of disciplinary records indicates that from 2008 through 2010, more than 200 jail employees were disciplined for various offenses, some serious and others minor. Last year, the […]

January finance reports: Harris County

January is a very busy month for campaign finance reports, since they are due for all levels of government. I’ve been busy updating the 2012 Primary Election pages for Harris County and elsewhere in Texas with reports as I can find them. Here’s an overview of some races of interest in Harris County. I’ll have […]

Sullivan says he’ll step down if he wins primary

He’s hoping to defuse a campaign issue. Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan will submit his resignation in July if he wins the Republican nomination for Harris County tax assessor-collector in April’s primary, he said. The resignation would not be effective until January, when he would be sworn in as tax assessor if he wins the […]

Fewer inmate deaths

More good news for the Sheriff’s office. The number of inmates who have died while in Harris County detention has plummeted during the last three years, a decline that Sheriff Adrian Garcia described as “deeply satisfying” but could not explain. Three county prisoners died last year, down from 11 in 2010, and 16 in 2009, […]

Inmate outsourcing on the way out

This is unequivocally good news. Dropping inmate numbers at the Harris County Jail will let the county end its nearly 5-year-old practice of shipping overflow inmates to Louisiana and other Texas counties within days, Sheriff Adrian Garcia said this week. The jail population has fallen 31 percent since 2008, to 8,573 inmates. The jail has […]

Murder by numbers

There were a lot fewer murders committed in Houston last year than in recent years. HPD recorded 195 murders for the year as of Friday, a 27.5 percent decrease from the previous year’s total of 269. The preliminary figure doesn’t yet include the death of a 27-year-old woman who police believe was killed in her […]

More on Lykos versus the cops

Here’s another Chron story about the recent dust-up between Harris County DA Pat Lykos and six Harris County police groups that don’t like her policy that trace amounts of crack will not be prosecuted as felonies. Two points that are worth highlighting from the story: State District Judge Michael McSpadden has presided over Houston’s criminal […]

Disciplining deputies

The Chron has a long story about the disciplinary issues at the Sheriff’s Department. A Houston Chronicle review of Sheriff’s Office discipline reports from 2007 to August provides a sobering look into a department plagued by deputies, jailers and civilians accused of violating laws they are charged to enforce and breaking department policies more than […]

Still cleaning up Tommy Thomas’ mess

Some stains take a long time to scrub out. The U.S. Justice Department is proceeding with an investigation of Harris County sheriff’s operations, after county leaders refused to enter into a civil rights settlement with the government or hire an independent monitor. The investigation was sparked by the discovery of emails from sheriff’s commanders – […]

There’s an app for reporting crimes

From the Chron’s Newswatch blog: The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Adrian Garcia has launched a series of free smartphone apps that will allow residents to report any crime tips or suspicious activities by sending text messages, emails, photos and video attachments. It’s called iWatchHarrisCounty and is part of the department’s “If You See […]

A better way for law enforcement to deal with the mentally ill

Good. Three Harris County Sheriff’s deputies will have new partners riding shotgun soon, if county officials approve a pilot program pairing them with mental health workers to deal with mentally disturbed suspects. Sheriff Adrian Garcia said he wants to treat the mentally ill, not jail them. “This will help keep those in crisis from becoming […]

More ankle monitors

Harris County will try using ankle monitors on some inmates as a way of reducing the jail population. The program, approved unanimously by Commissioners Court last week, is the county’s latest stab at thinning the jail population. As of Wednesday, the county had 9,850 inmates, including 978 being held in other Texas counties or in […]

County hires jailers to save money

Harris County Commissioners Court has finally admitted that having an adequate number of jailers is more cost-effective than paying for scads of overtime. Just as Sheriff Garcia has been saying all along. Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s payroll was a contentious issue last year. More than once, Garcia asked permission to add employees, saying shortages exacerbated by […]

Suit against Sheriff’s office dismissed

From the Chron: A lawsuit filed by the former technology director for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, who had contended he was fired because he revealed its alleged plan to hack into the county government computer network, has been dismissed. A district judge agreed with county attorneys that Wilfrido Mata, who was fired last May, […]

Still talking about jail overcrowding

Here’s another op-ed about jail overcrowding in Harris County and what to do about it. It’s all familiar stuff – we’ve only been talking about this for a million years or so – but I was struck by what wasn’t said. Harris County has made strides to safely reduce the jail population. Harris County District […]

The mental health catastrophe is coming

Here’s yet another story about the forthcoming disaster in mental health care that is about to be perpetuated by the Legislature. It starts with one of the best analogies I’ve seen: Dr. Steven B. Schnee, executive director of the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County, offered up an extended metaphor one day recently […]

Jail privatization

Does anyone really think that privatizing the Harris County Jail would be a good idea? The suggestion comes from Commissioner Steve Radack, who said the item is a way for the county to examine all ways of cutting costs as budget cuts take hold and scores of county workers are laid off. “We need to […]

Don’t claim endorsements you don’t have

Seems like that lesson needs to be re-learned every cycle. We already have two examples of it this cycle. Here’s example one: City Council candidate Eric Dick apologized for advertising an upcoming fund-raiser by sending out a mailer featuring a photo of Sheriff Adrian Garcia standing with Dick in front of City Hall. “I didn’t […]

Budget testimony from the Sheriff’s office

In addition to all of the education and HHSC-related testimony before the Senate Finance Committee this week, law enforcement agencies who will be affected by cuts to mental health services were also heard from. Here’s a press release sent out by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia about what they had to say: The Harris County […]

Harris County braces for state budget cuts

More joy to look forward to. Proposed state budget cuts could cost Harris County government nearly $50 million a year, according to a legislative analyst’s rough estimates, rolling back or eliminating state allowances for dozens of programs that include mental health services, auto theft prevention, alternatives to jail and a school for juvenile offenders. The […]

Cuts here mean hikes there

The only problem with this AP story is the headline, “Texas budget cuts may shift burden to locals”. There’s no “may” about it – the Pitts budget would absolutely shift a huge burden to local governments. Cuts set off a domino effect: Historically, public schools raise property taxes when the state education agency sends smaller […]

Ankle monitors

Also on the Commissioners Court agenda this week, Harris County will take another small step towards reducing its jail population by experimenting with ankle monitors for low-risk inmates. Commissioners Court granted Sheriff Adrian Garcia permission Tuesday to do a trial run on 10 to 20 inmates who work outside the jail under armed guard. If […]

On county jails and treating mental illness

There’s really only one thing that needs to be said about this op-ed, which was co-written by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and HPD Chief Charles McClelland. Texas ranks 49th in the nation in per capita spending on mental health services. Only 25 percent of children and 18 percent of adults with severe mental illness […]

Loren Jackson signs on with Sheriff’s office

Great news. District Clerk Loren Jackson, who was defeated by Republican Chris Daniel last month, will likely stay in county government when his term expires on Dec. 31. Sheriff Adrian Garcia proposes hiring him as his chief of information technology. Jackson is not named on the Commissioners Court agenda, but he is “the special assistant” […]

State cuts will equal local costs

Grits is absolutely right: Cuts to state mental hospitals would be a massive unfunded mandate for county jails. [S]heriffs across Texas are increasingly frustrated and worried about the ever-decreasing amount of bed space available at state mental hospitals. Too often, when mentally ill offenders come to their jails, sheriffs who are required to provide appropriate […]

The cost of jailing parole violators

We sure do spend a lot of money putting people in jail that don’t really need to be there. Each month, an average of 2,286 state parole violators are housed in Texas jails, a policy costing taxpayers at least $42 million a year. Harris County has the largest tab — estimated at $7.6 million. This […]