Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – The Season of Giving Brings Holiday Cheer

Now in its 26th year, our annual holiday toy drive brings smiles and joyful memories to the children served by the Children’s Assessment Center, an advocacy center dedicated to providing coordinated services to abused children in our area. Every holiday season, Sheriff’s Office employees sponsor children of all ages and purchase toys, bikes, and gift cards from their wish lists to help make their holidays brighter.

On Wednesday, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted us as we unloaded a semi-truck full of more than 800 gifts for 400 children. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Foundation also stopped by with 100 festive teddy bears.

Our close, long-time partnership with the Children’s Assessment Center has helped ensure the well-being and safety of our community’s most valuable asset. It’s an essential tool in our toolbox to address many forms of child abuse. Our Crimes Against Children Unit investigators, whose mission is to thoroughly investigate allegations of child abuse, work hand in hand with the advocacy center to provide abused children with the proper assistance, treatment, and services to start their healing process.

It’s a serious, heartbreaking issue and one we cannot confront alone. As an agency, we participate in a coordinated response against child abuse that includes partnering with advocates.

I’m thankful to lead an agency that comes together during this special time of the year to
benefit children in our community. The generosity of my teammates, especially at a time when the pandemic has created a bigger need for families and fewer resources to help them, fills me with pride.

Also, as part of Operation Blue Sleigh, the spouses of two deputies collected toys at Alexander Deussen Park in northeast Harris County on Thursday for our first responders to have on hand when they are out in their communities and encounter less fortunate children during their shifts.

Our community’s giving spirit makes a difference in the lives of children who may not have experienced the warmth and joy of the holidays without their neighbor’s support.

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Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Growth through Education and Community Partnership

Earlier this week, we received a generous book donation from the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy for persons in our custody and care at the Harris County Jail. This donation, made possible by the City of Houston and the Molina Foundation, will help diversify our leisure reading material and will grow our book inventory with over 750 new books.

Education plays an important role in reducing recidivism in our society, but more importantly, improves us as people and brings light into our world. Reading can be a source of hope and inspiration. It can give us a framework to understand our past and look toward our future. Books spark conversations, teach us empathy, and broaden our horizons.

One of the many ways we aim to reduce recidivism is by giving people a chance to use their time constructively and by investing in them. Our Detention Support Services Bureau provides educational resources and opportunities designed to give them the tools, skills, and support to be successful when returning to their communities. We provide case management services, discharge planning, a leisure reading program, and a connection to outside resources, information, and services. We want them to be able to get out and get back on their feet.

In past semesters, before the pandemic, student volunteers from my alma mater, University of Houston-Downtown, helped screen, sort, and distribute donated books. As part of their hands-on, community service journey, the students learned about the inner workings of the Harris County Jail and the importance of rehabilitation services and reentry programs.

We were also partnering with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office to host regular book clubs where incarcerated persons engaged in the reading and the discussions.

We are grateful to our community partners who see the transformative power of literacy and are committed to changing lives by empowering people to reach their full potential through reading and learning. We look forward to the day we can welcome back volunteers and students and get back to book club discussions.

God bless you, and may God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Showing up for Our Neighbors and Community

Earlier this week, on Giving Tuesday, our communities came together to make an impact in their neighborhoods and the lives of their neighbors. This global generosity movement reminds us of our collective power – and responsibility – to transform our own communities. A strong neighborhood depends on strong relationships. Let’s build on this momentum and on the spirit of community and collaboration that this day brings. At the Sheriff’s Office, we pride ourselves on maintaining the public’s trust and working with you to keep our neighborhoods safe year-round. We strive to be deeply ingrained in the communities we serve and recognize the invaluable impact residents and community partners have on Harris County’s future.

On Wednesday, District II led a virtual public safety forum for northeast Harris County area residents with an update from our Community Engagement Division and guest speakers from our Auto Theft and Behavioral Health Units. A few weeks ago, District IV led a safety forum for west Harris County residents and featured presenters from across our agency, including a victim advocate from our Family Violence Unit and a member of our new Traffic Crimes Unit.

Public safety forums are an opportunity for you to join your neighbors and patrol district leaders for a meaningful discussion about key public safety issues in your neighborhood. They are also an opportunity for you to learn more about our initiatives, such as Project Guardian, to ask questions about our agency, and to share any concerns with the very leaders patrolling and protecting your block.

As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed, each of our five districts will be hosting virtual safety forums led by the area’s patrol captain and sergeant with support and updates from various agency leaders. If you’re interested in being notified about your district’s next meeting, fill out our interest form. By signing up today, you’re ensuring you’ll be among the first to know when the next safety forum is scheduled.

In the meantime, stay connected with us by following your patrol district on Twitter and our agency on Nextdoor, a social media platform that allows you to exchange helpful information with your neighbors that’s timely and unique to your community. Our agency’s social media presence will keep you plugged in on how we are supporting and serving you daily. You will receive breaking news, missing persons and wanted suspects alerts, crime prevention resources, and more.

Follow Your District on Twitter:

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

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Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Happy Thanksgiving!

As we prepare to give thanks with our family on Thanksgiving, I want to start by sharing my deep appreciation for your partnership and contributions to our wonderful community. I admire our community for its strength, compassion, and commitment to supporting one another. We are a community where neighbors lend a helping hand to those in need, do their part to make it a better place, and band together to build a more caring and safer home. The Sheriff’s Office is glad to have you with us every step of the way.

The pandemic has become personal for many. We at the Sheriff’s Office have lost three of our own. It has been a challenging year for our neighbors with profound loss, sacrifices, and uncertainty, but we pulled together despite the hardships.

Thanksgiving is a special holiday when we pause and reflect on our blessings and what matters most. It’s a holiday that has significant meaning for our country and encourages us to wrap ourselves in gratitude for our family, loved ones, opportunities, and growth.

I also want to thank all of our deputies, volunteer reservists, detention officers, dispatchers, medical personnel, and teammates who serve and protect us every day with empathy and professionalism. Many sacrifice time with their families to ensure you can celebrate safely with yours. I am grateful to those who will be working on Thanksgiving to keep us safe. I hope you will join me in expressing your appreciation to the men and women of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and all first responders. I am inspired by all they do day in and day out and their unwavering dedication to Harris County.

Let us be thankful for one another and for our great county and state that we are blessed to call home. Take each day as a gift and fill them with positivity and gratitude.

I wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!

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