Building Bridges for a Stronger Community

Our entire Sheriff’s Office family is praying for our two teammates who were wounded by gunfire on Tuesday in northwest Harris County.

During this challenging time, we’re grateful for the outpouring of support from the community we serve. And we’re grateful for the countless prayers and positive thoughts from our public safety partners across the region and state. Please continue to keep our injured teammates in your thoughts as they continue to recover. They remain in good spirits and surrounded by loved ones.

Citizens’ Police Academy

Every year, the Sheriff’s Office hosts a Citizens’ Police Academy for residents to learn about the inner workings of our agency. This weeks-long training opportunity is open for all Harris County residents 21 years of age and older.

At the Sheriff’s Office, we pride ourselves on working with our community to keep our neighborhoods safe. We recognize the invaluable impact you have on public safety and Harris County’s future. These experiences are part of our ongoing efforts to involve and engage you and your neighbors in a deeper way through a firsthand look at how we are supporting and serving you daily.

The academy will feature high-quality, interactive courses led by divisions across our agency. The curriculum will cover several relevant topics:

  • Patrol and traffic enforcement
  • 911 and non-emergency communication
  • Homicide investigations
  • Cybercrime safety
  • Mental health and wellness
  • Animal education and laws
  • Jail procedures
  • Internal affairs investigations

Starting March 31, every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. through May 5, at our training academy in Humble, participants will learn about our programs and services, ask questions, and share feedback with the very leaders entrusted with protecting their community and safeguarding those in our custody.

Apply Online Today

The training is free. Please apply by the deadline, Thursday, March 10.

If you have any questions regarding the application and program, contact our Community Engagement Division at 346-286-3125.

Every Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
March 31-May 5

HCSO Academy
2316 Atascocita Road, Humble, Texas 77396

We know that a strong neighborhood depends on strong relationships. Our goals are for academy graduates to feel empowered with knowledge and to feel closer to us. They’ll know when and who to call and what resources to lean into when needed. They’ll share their experience with others and take an active role in building a safer, more caring community with their neighbors.

Stay connected with us by following our patrol leaders on Twitter and our agency on Nextdoor. Our social media presence will keep you plugged in on everything from breaking news and missing persons alerts to personal safety tips and agency unit spotlights.

A safe and compassionate community requires constant attention, care, and collaboration. Thank you for your partnership and for joining us on this journey.

One Community

On Wednesday, we joined county leaders and Harris County Public Health officials at a press conference announcing two pilot community violence prevention programs aimed at tackling the root causes of crime.

This is another step toward a comprehensive public safety strategy for reducing violent crime – an approach grounded in making communities safer by streamlining the most appropriate resources to residents and freeing up peace officers for serious crimes.

It’s also focused on engaging our communities as critical partners.
We are grateful to the County Judge and the entire Commissioners Court for thoughtfully investing in a holistic approach to public safety. And we are grateful to Director Barbie Robinson and the Harris County Public Health team for bringing forward another tool in the fight against reducing crime in our community.

Communities become better when we come together to address the most pressing public safety challenges. Collaboration is central to building and strengthening relationships.

The pilot programs, which will initially launch in the Cypress Station area in Harris County and the Sunnyside area in the City of Houston, are the culmination of months-long conversations around how to best address the social determinants of public health and violence. It’s about recognizing the links between violence, public health, and social disadvantage.

Our dedicated call takers at our emergency dispatch center will dispatch calls directly to specialized teams called Holistic Assistance Response Teams, sending trained professionals to intervene in non-violent situations and get help for people experiencing a crisis. Also known as HART teams, these health-based first responders will free up our deputies and police officers to focus on removing repeat violent offenders from our streets.

Cypress Station ranks among the top communities with high incidents of violent crime.
Our Crime Analysis and Intelligence Division worked closely with Harris County Public Health officials to help solidify Cypress Station as a pilot community.

In April of last year, a 3-year-old girl named Helena was critically wounded after being caught in the crossfire of a fatal drive-by shooting outside her family’s apartment in the 900 block of Cypress Station Drive.

Her mother was taking out the trash at the complex’s dumpster when it happened. Her parents, who are hearing impaired, were just getting back on their feet after years of experiencing homelessness. This grim story is not an outlier, but part of a consistent trend of tragic days in this community.

Residents deserve to ride their bikes, talk outside their driveways, play at a nearby park, carry their trash out, and take in everything that makes a neighborhood a home without fear.

Our dedicated Community Problem-Oriented Policing Unit deputies spend their time getting to know the businesses, schools, houses of worship, and neighborhoods in their patrol area. And through the Harris County Safe program, we’ve increased patrol and traffic enforcement efforts during days and times when the crime is most reported.

Our collective community outreach efforts empower our neighbors, many from our most vulnerable communities, with the tools, skills, and support to overcome barriers to success.

These pilot programs serve as a complement and force multiplier to our crime reduction efforts seen in our various dedicated units and task forces. It’s about taking further strategic steps toward a targeted, thoughtful approach to building healthier, safer communities.

Citizens’ Police Academy

We are hosting a Citizens’ Police Academy for residents to learn about the inner workings of our agency.

Starting March 31, every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. through May 5, at our training academy in Humble participants will learn about our programs and services, ask questions, and share feedback with the very leaders entrusted with protecting their community and safeguarding those in our custody.

Register Today

The training is free. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and a Harris County resident.

The application deadline is March 10.

If you have any questions, contact our Community Engagement Division at 346-286-3125.

Every Thursday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
March 31 – May 5

HCSO Academy
3216 Atascocita Road
Humble, Texas, 77396

We Will Always Remember Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez Jr.

Our Sheriff’s Office family came together today to celebrate the life of Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez Jr. We were joined by his circle of loved ones and our extended law enforcement family to remember a remarkable public servant, husband, father, and friend.

There are few undertakings so noble as the protection of your community. Sgt. Gutierrez did just that, dedicating his life to serving others.

Twenty years ago, he began his law enforcement career as a detention officer at the Harris County Jail. After a year of helping manage the custody and care of those inside the largest jail in Texas, he entered Basic Peace Officer Course Training at our academy.

For Ramon, becoming a peace officer was not simply starting a new job in law enforcement, but the first step into a long career in public service.

While at our training academy, Sgt. Gutierrez earned the nickname Guts. His eagerness to be a team player and get the job done carried over to every role he held in our agency.

He spent the last 13 years, the bulk of his time with our agency, in the Vehicular Crimes Division. This is where he truly thrived. He was a committed accident investigator, a niche in the law enforcement field. He had a clear understanding of the nature of the job, and all its complexities, which is fundamental to becoming successful in traffic investigations.

And in his latest assignment, he was a committed sergeant to the investigators who worked for him. He provided investigators with the necessary guidance and intellectual grounding they needed to be the best. He shared vast amounts of knowledge and years of experience with his teammates, always encouraging them to apply their extensive training to their jobs.

Sgt. Gutierrez’s passion for safe roadways set the bar in DWI enforcement. His commitment was recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and through several awards, including a Unit Commendation. He treated each crash investigation with equal vigor.

Sgt. Gutierrez not only demonstrated high DWI arrest numbers but also acted as a leader and motivator to his team. He was a difference-maker in every sense of the word. As a supervisor, Sgt. Gutierrez was a hands-on practitioner who enjoyed working alongside his troops. He didn’t shy away from rolling up his sleeves to secure and investigate an active scene.

It wasn’t uncommon for him to step in and do whatever was needed to help, whether it was conducting a field sobriety test, taking photographs of evidence, or helping map all the pieces together on a complex crash site. He always led from the front.

As a bilingual deputy, he brought comfort to Spanish-speaking residents during their greatest time of need. He was patient, compassionate, and everything you could ask for in a public servant.

As peace officers, we know a big part of community policing is spending time outside of our patrol cars. It’s about bonding with the residents you serve. Sgt. Gutierrez had a special way of reaching people and making connections with them. We were truly blessed to have him among our ranks.

Outside of his uniform, he was a devoted husband and father. It was hard to get through a conversation with him without him pulling out the latest photos of his family. Or talking about what was happening with his kids. He would beam with immense pride when he thought about them.

Some will say he left this world the same way he lived, faithfully carrying out his duties and taking care of his family.

Imagine what our agency would be – and what policing in this country would be – if everyone who walked through our doors had Sgt. Gutierrez’s dedication, grit, and compassion.

That’s the goal. To match that sense of devotion to our job and profession.

Please continue to pray that Sgt. Ramirez’s family finds comfort in knowing how many lives he touched. Every prayer and positive thought will lift his family and makes our agency stronger. It exemplifies what community is all about – leaning on each other during challenging times.

In Loving Memory of Deputy Crowder and Sgt. Gutierrez

Our entire Sheriff’s Office family is grieving the sudden and heartbreaking loss of our long-time brother, Sgt. Ramon Gutierrez, and the senseless murder of Harris County Precinct 5 Cpl. Charles Galloway during a traffic stop in west Houston. And on Thursday, three Houston Police Department police officers were in stable condition after being shot near Third Ward.

This past week’s tragedies are a stark reminder of the day-to-day dangers police face on the job and the work that still must continue to improve dangerous roadways and gun violence in our communities.

Sgt. Gutierrez, a 20-year agency veteran, was fatally struck by a suspected intoxicated driver while serving as an off-duty motorcycle escort for an oversized load in northeast Harris County.

Sgt. Gutierrez was a supervisor in the Vehicular Crimes Division. He joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2002 and previously served as a detention officer, patrol deputy, and accident investigator.

On Thursday evening, we came together for a candlelight vigil outside East Aldine District in honor of his memory. Sgt. Gutierrez’s profound impact on the Sheriff’s Office was evident in the many anecdotes shared there.

The untimely loss of Sgt. Gutierrez came as we prepared to celebrate the life of Deputy Amanda Crowder.

Deputy Crowder knew early on she wanted to earn the badge and wear the uniform.

In 2007, she began her law enforcement career as a detention officer at the Harris County Jail. At 19, she was entrusted with the custody and care of those inside the largest jail in Texas.

In 2011, she completed basic peace officer training at the University of Houston-Downtown, where she paved the way to fulfill her dreams of becoming a police officer.

Before rejoining our agency in 2014, she served as a police officer at Metro Police Department for nearly three years. She quickly made a mark on the community she swore a sacred oath to protect.

Deputy Crowder was assigned to the evening shift in Patrol District 2 in northeast Harris County, where she was a proud member of the Aldine Proactive Unit. These deputies focus on reducing crime through high-visibility policing efforts and engaging with the Aldine area community.

Before her latest assignment, Deputy Crowder spent four years with our Special Investigations Division. Here she was part of the elite undercover team that investigated street and mid-level drug trafficking and criminal organizations.

This investigative work is very detail-oriented. It takes dedication. It takes persistence. Deputy Crowder was a meticulous investigator. If you gave her a challenge, she’d meet you at that challenge.

In 2019, she was part of the team of Vice investigators who received a commendation award for their critical role in arresting 80 men for solicitation of prostitution during a month-long investigation.

Deputy Crowder was a consistent reminder – and shining example – of what is expected from Sheriff’s Office deputies. Our job as peace officers came so naturally to her. She was a good cop. She worked hard.

Beyond her serious commitment to the job, Deputy Crowder was the kind of person everyone wanted to be around. She made it a point to build bonds with her teammates through her infectious energy and smile.

At the center of her world were her daughters. That was her greatest assignment of all.

We honor the memories of Deputy Crowder and Sgt. Gutierrez by matching their devotion and sense of pride in our profession. Please keep their families and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers during this tremendously difficult time.