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Posts Tagged ‘Harris County Sheriff’

Who would be Sheriff if Adrian Garcia runs for Mayor?

A Republican, for sure. Beyond that, we don’t know. County officials are preparing for Garcia to resign as sheriff, which he is required to do under the Texas Constitution if he chooses to run for mayor of Houston, as he is expected to do. The County Attorney’s office last month circulated a memo to Harris […]

We need to know how body cameras are going to be used

Having the body cameras is great, but it’s how we use them that really matters. Harris County’s two largest police agencies are testing body cameras on officers but refuse to release their policies detailing when the cameras should be turned on and off to maximize accountability and minimize intrusiveness. The Houston Police Department spent $108,000 […]

Now what do we do with those body cameras?

KPRC addresses an important question. HPD has been running a pilot program regarding body cameras for more than a year. 100 officers are currently wearing a body camera. The department has yet to finalize a policy on the use of these cameras and the retention of video. As it stands now, each officer is responsible […]

Garcia appears to be in for Mayor

Not official yet, but stories like this don’t get run without justification. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is sending every possible message that he intends to run for mayor this year, aggressively increasing his political operations and signaling to some of his closest advisers and fiercest backers that a campaign may be imminent. Garcia, under […]

January campaign finance reports – Mayoral wannabes

I wrote yesterday about the start of the 2015 campaign season in Houston, and how it’s started a bit early thanks to the ruling in the lawsuit filed by Trebor Gordon that invalidated the blackout period. This week also marked the January 15 finance report filing deadline, so now is as good a time as […]

On playing small ball

Campos reacts to Mayor Parker’s future statewide plans. And here again is my small ball take from a few weeks ago: It is time for small ball instead of the big inning. In baseball, small ball is a strategy where you manufacture runs by utilizing the bunt, stealing bases, the hit and run, walks, hitting […]

The next generation of leaders

The future looks good. A new generation of black activist leadership in Houston has emerged from the protests over the officer-involved deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York. At one point during a town hall last month, the clergyman-moderator acknowledged a fresh face in the audience wearing a T-shirt […]

Three thoughts on the state of the Mayor’s race

Inspired by this story, which doesn’t name any potential additions to the ever-large field of Mayoral wannabes for 2015 but which does put some things in context. Most observers consider Rep. Sylvester Turner, with his support base from the African-American population that could cast a third of next year’s vote, to be the man to […]

DA’s office to help buy body cams

Very good news. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson plans to purchase hundreds of body-worn cameras for Houston police officers and sheriff’s deputies, weeks after widespread protests erupted when a white Missouri police officer was not charged for fatally shooting an unarmed black teen. In the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., […]

And we’re still talking about the 2015 Mayor’s race

Here we go again. The mayor’s race may be more than a year away, but nearly all candidates have launched shadow campaigns – and not all shadow campaigns are created equal. [State Rep. Sylvester] Turner and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, considered early frontrunners if both launch bids for City Hall, already have the name […]

Law enforcement for same sex marriage

Bravo, y’all. The Democratic sheriffs of Texas’ two most populous counties have signed on with more than 60 other Texas law enforcement officials and first responders saying the state’s ban on same sex marriage not only disrespects but endangers front-line public safety officers. Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia lent […]

Game room lawsuit dismissed

From last week: After a lengthy tussle over new game room regulations for Harris County, a federal judge Tuesday issued an order denying requests from a local game room owner to stop the new regulations. “The game room situation in Harris County is a big problem,” said Fred Keys, an assistant attorney for Harris County. […]

Vaping in jail

Not sure how I feel about this. As a way to allow some inmates to get their nicotine fix and sheriffs to shore up tight budgets, county jails across the country have begun selling electronic cigarettes. Though the trend has largely bypassed Texas, jail officials say that could change as sheriffs begin to warm up […]

Medicaid expansion: Still a great deal, especially for cities

So many uninsured people could get covered if Medicaid expansion were universal instead of just here and there. Expanding Medicaid under the new health care law would do a lot to slash the number of uninsured people, at least in some of the nation’s largest cities, according to a new report. A review of 14 […]

Game room enforcement back on in Harris County

Better choose your eight liner provider carefully. After clearing a few legal hurdles, Harris County’s new game room regulations – on which the city of Houston is piggybacking – are set to take effect Friday. Late Tuesday after a hearing, a federal judge denied a request from a game room owner and operator for a […]

Perry says Texas will not comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act

Amazing the number of laws Rick Perry refuses to obey, isn’t it? More than a decade after the Prison Rape Elimination Act unanimously passed Congress, federal standards for implementation of the law have been finalized. Now, Gov. Rick Perry and some prison reform advocates are at odds over what those standards mean for Texas lockups […]

We still need to reduce inmate headcount

The Harris County jail’s population is down from historic highs, but with the usual summer uptick coming, Sheriff Adrian Garcia has asked for a waiver to make some more beds available. State officials have rejected a request from Sheriff Adrian Garcia to increase the capacity of the Harris County Jail and said local leaders have […]

Followup on that report about sexual assault in the Harris County jail

Last month, I blogged about a report by the Justice Department that alleged a high rate of sexual assault in one of the Harris County jail buildings. Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who testified about the report in Congress to a panel of citizen correctional experts, was sharply critical of the study’s methodology. Click the link for […]

Sexual assault in the Harris County jail

This sounds very bad, but there are some questions about how the numbers were determined. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, defending his staff against a federal study that found startling levels of sexual abuse at one of his jails, testified Wednesday that his sprawling corrections system was constantly working to better protect inmates. Garcia was […]

Murder by numbers 2013

The beginning of the new year means a look back at the homicide count for the previous year. Homicides are up in unincorporated Harris County, where the Sheriff’s Office is reporting a nearly 20 percent uptick in 2013, preliminary year-end statistics show. Killings in 2013 totaled 91 as of Tuesday – the second-highest tally in […]

County to tighten regulations on game rooms

It’s sort of a crackdown, but within limits. And something that’s regulated is something that’s legal, so there’s that. The regulations, made possible by a state law passed earlier this year by the Legislature, requires an establishment housing six or more video poker machines known as “eight-liners” to obtain a permit and pay a $1,000 […]

More on the jail’s new non-discrimination policy

Here’s the Chron story on the new non-discrimination policy that was implemented at the Harris County Jail. Crafted in the last 16 months with input from local and national LGBT community leaders and groups, it strictly prohibits “discrimination or harassment of any kind based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” and provides for the special […]

The jail’s new non-discrimination policy

Not sure why I haven’t seen this story in the Chronicle. The sheriff of Houston’s Harris County has adopted a sweeping policy designed to protect and guarantee equal treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inmates, including allowing transgender individuals to be housed based on the gender they identify with instead of their biological sex. […]

It always comes down to the IT guys

The joint processing center that’s on the Harris County ballot this year will need a new computer system to fully realize its gains. The so-called “jail management system,” which the Sheriff’s Office hopes will be up and running at least a year before the processing center would open, will allow the jail to track the […]

Endorsement watch: For the joint processing center

An easy call. [V]oters should consider themselves fortunate that they can easily cut $25 million in unnecessary spending from the city’s annual budget by voting for the Joint Processing Center on Election Day. The overlapping criminal justice duties of Houston and Harris County have been the target of the good governance crowd for several years, […]

One more ballot item

In addition to the Astrodome and (maybe) Early To Rise referenda, Harris County voters will also get to decide on a jail bond referendum. From the preview story on Tuesday: Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday also is expected to order a $70 million bond election for a long-discussed facility to process inmates arrested by […]

DUI and blood testing

Not sure what I think about this. A decision by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to demand blood tests for every drunken-driving suspect who refuses breath tests has drawn an unusual opponent: Houston police officers. “We’re just very concerned it’s going to take officers off the street for an extended amount of time,” said […]

Harris County wants to be like the city in regulating eight-liners

One of the main differences between Houston and Harris County is that the city can generally do what it wants to do while the county had to get a law passed to do the same thing. When the city of Houston began enforcing stricter regulations on topless clubs and massage parlors, officials saw complaints against […]

Report recommends against privatizing the Harris County jail

Very good news. Privatizing the Harris County jail would be risky and may not result in savings, according to an internal county memo recommending that Commissioners Court keep the state’s largest lockup in Sheriff Adrian Garcia’s hands. The confidential Feb. 11 memo, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, comes after more than a year of study […]

Murder by numbers continued

There are two ways to look at this. Houston averaged slightly more than four murders a week during 2012, unofficial figures indicate, inching up from 2011 when the total dropped to the lowest point since 1966. In unincorporated Harris County, an early total suggests a three-year decline in murders may continue. Houston police reported 216 […]

Jail privatization update

Grits, from about two weeks ago: In a conference call last week with investors (see the transcript), Corrections Corporation of America said it expects to find out by next spring whether they will receive a contract to operate the Harris County Jail. Said President and CEO David Hininger: The final update I wanted to give […]

2012 election results

As I type this there are still a number of unsettled races in Texas, so things may change between now and tomorrow morning after we’ve all had an insufficient night’s sleep. But here’s how they stand at this time, and I will use my what I’ll be looking for post as a jumping off point. […]

What I’ll be looking for tonight

Just a reminder that I’ll be on KPFT tonight starting at 7 PM to talk about the elections. Here’s a preview of the things I’ll be looking for: 1. SD10 – Sen. Wendy Davis vs Mark Shelton: Easily the most important race on the ballot in Texas. Davis has been a progressive champion and a […]

Strip club cash in the Sheriff’s race

The waning days of a campaign always have the greatest potential for hijinx. A $25,000 political contribution from the owner of a strip club being sued by Harris County lawyers found its way, via the Harris County Deputies Organization, into the campaign coffers of the man challenging Sheriff Adrian Garcia in November, according to campaign […]