Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez:
As we get ready to express gratitude to our loved ones on Thanksgiving, I want to share my deep appreciation for your partnership and contributions to our wonderful community. I deeply appreciate the strength, compassion, and commitment of our community to support each other.
Thanksgiving is a memorable occasion that prompts us to take a moment and appreciate our blessings and the things that matter most in our lives.
As a holiday with significant meaning for our country, it encourages us to express our gratitude to our family, loved ones, and brothers and sisters in blue.
Thank you to those who work on Thanksgiving to keep our communities safe, sacrificing time with their families to ensure everyone can celebrate safely with theirs.
Let’s express gratitude for our supportive community and cherish each day. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and joyful Thanksgiving holiday!
Protect Yourself – Don’t Let Theft Ruin The Holiday Season
As we embrace the joy of the holiday season, we must stay vigilant and safeguard against potential theft and security risks. Have a solid plan to shop safely while searching for the perfect holiday gifts.
Don’t let the season of giving become the season of taking. Here are some online and in-person shopping safety and theft prevention tips:
- Stick to retailers that you know and have shopped with before.
- Do some research on retailers that you’re not familiar with or haven’t shopped with before.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi when making online purchases.
- Keep your receipts and monitor your bank account and credit activity.
- When looking for a parking space, be patient and alert for pedestrians.
- Park in well-lit, high-traffic areas.
- Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle, especially in plain view.
- Lock your car doors, even if you’re stepping away for a moment.
- Avoid putting your personal belongings in the shopping cart.
- If you’re shopping with children, identify the store personnel so they know who to ask for help.
- Don’t argue over store items; it can be dangerous and escalate to an assault.
Safety Tips to Ensure a Secure and Peaceful Holiday:
- Always lock your doors and windows, whether at home or away.
- Adequate outdoor lighting is a deterrent to burglars.
- If you’re expecting deliveries, track packages and arrange for them to be delivered when someone is home.
- Avoid advertising your travel plans on social media. Wait until you return to share your holiday experiences. Broadcasting your absence can make your home a target.
- If you have a home security system, renew your alarm permit annually. For more information, call 713-755–4600.
- Update and share emergency contact information with trusted neighbors.
- If you’re traveling for the holidays, we’ve got you covered! Our Vacation Watch Program offers added security when you’re away from home. Learn more about the service and sign up by clicking here.
- If you see something unusual or suspicious in your neighborhood, report it to the Sheriff’s Office at 713-221-6000 or 911 if it’s an emergency.
Let’s work together to ensure that the joy of the holidays is not overshadowed by theft or security concerns. The Sheriff’s Office wishes you a safe and joyful holiday season!
The Wellness Corner: Coping with the Holiday Blues
The holiday season can bring joy, but it can also be challenging for some. If you or someone you know is experiencing the holiday blues, consider these tips for self-care and support:
- Acknowledge Your Feelings: It’s okay not to feel festive. Acknowledge and accept your emotions.
- Set Realistic Expectations: It’s okay to scale back on festivities and focus on what feels manageable.
- Set Boundaries: Learn to say no to commitments that may add stress.
- Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness or relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation.
- Plan Self-Care Activities: Schedule time for activities you enjoy.
- Reach Out for Support: Contact the Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD at 713-970-7000.
Remember, the holiday blues are temporary, and it’s essential to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with more severe symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. You don’t have to navigate these feelings alone.
In recognition of Crash Responder Safety Week (CRSW), Nov. 13-17, 2023, all Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) partners came together to raise safety awareness for traffic incident management workers who respond to vehicle crashes and all commuters using our roadways. Click here to watch the press conference.
Always move over or slow down when approaching emergency responders, tows, or maintenance vehicles. Call 713-CALL-MAP if you ever need emergency roadside assistance. For more information, visit click here.
In recognition of National Seat Belt Day, let’s unite in the commitment to prioritize safety on our roads. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Ed Gonzalez partnered with Kailee Mills Foundation to raise awareness about seat belt use. To learn about Kailee Mills Foundation, visit kaileemillsfoundation.org.
HCSO In The News
ABC 13: Numerous attorneys believed to be smuggling drugs into jail, Harris Co. Sheriff’s Office says
The arrest of a 77-year-old attorney may be the first of many in the case of drugs being smuggled into the Harris County Jail. Defense attorney Ronald Lewis is charged with two counts of having a prohibited substance in a correctional facility. He was arrested on Friday during a visit to the jail and found to be in possession of 11 sheets of paper believed to be soaked in drugs, according to Lt. J. Wheeler with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations and Security Division. Wheeler said those papers will be tested to confirm.
More than 500 guns were collected at the City of Houston’s fifth gun buyback event that was held Saturday on Harwin. HCSO Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said it’s an opportunity for law enforcement to serve the community in a different way.
“On a number of occasions, we’ve heard from individuals that said, ‘My loved one passed away. They had weapons. I do not want them in the house and I did not have a safe way of disposing of them,'” the sheriff said. “This provides that option. We want to make sure we’re preventing those instances where maybe someone is perhaps breaking into a home and someone comes across those weapons and now it lands on the wrong hands.”
Houston Public Media: Houston, Harris County address concerns of violent crimes against AAPI community
Tony Nguyen is the Assistant Chief of Harris County’s Sheriff’s Office. He said the Community Problem Oriented Policing Unit, which was a program that started in 2021, is one of the many strategies the county is using to address the public safety concerns of residents.
“We have C-Pop deputies in each patrol district who spend their time getting to know their businesses, schools, houses of worship and neighborhoods in the area,” Chief Nguyen said.
In the spirit of unity and gratitude, the Asian American Peace Officers’ Association has again demonstrated its commitment to supporting the law enforcement community by donating Thanksgiving dinners to our dedicated detention officers.
This thoughtful donation recognizes our teammates’ hard work and dedication and brings a sense of warmth and appreciation during the holiday season. Thank you!
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced a major arrest in a jail narcotics investigation. Earlier this year, the Sheriff established the jail-based Criminal Investigations and Security Division in response to a substantial increase in drug overdoses in the jail.
Following a lengthy investigation, the Division managed to arrest a defense attorney suspected of being a major supplier of dangerous narcotics into the jail.
Team from District’s youth law enforcement program wins top Texas prize.
In the Explorers program, Harris County sheriff’s deputies coach volunteers ages 14 to 21 on how to be law enforcement officers — funded by East Aldine District.
Four Explorers are learning what it’s like to be tops in Texas. Their team won “best overall” at a Nov 11 statewide competition in Corpus Christi against 45 other teams from around the state. To find out about becoming an Explorer, contact Sgt. Garza Terry.Garza@sheriff.hctx.net.
Thank you so much to everyone who joined the HCSO Open House and Hiring Expo! For those of you looking for a job, we are hiring! If you want to make a difference, call 713-877-5250 or visit HCSOJobs.com.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office enjoyed attending the 5th Annual Breakfast of Champions hosted by Katy Christian Ministries. This event provided valuable opportunities to connect with residents, share helpful information, and foster positive relationships. We thank the host for inviting us and for all they do for our community!
Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Office of Commissioner Lesley Briones, Precinct 4, gun back event. By turning in their firearms, residents contributed to making our community safer.