Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Stay Home, Save Lives

As we embark on another critical week in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to thank our residents for staying home and helping us flatten the curve. Slowing the spread is a shared responsibility and I appreciate the sacrifices everyone is making.

It’s a trying time for all, no one is immune from the virus and thousands of first responders are risking their lives more than usual right now.

This week, we gathered to lift in prayer Sergeant Raymond Scholwinski — who is in critical condition at a local hospital — and all 38 HCSO teammates who have now contracted the virus. You can watch the video of the prayer vigil below.

I believe in the power of prayer and want to ask you to join me in praying for my teammates and all first responders infected with the virus. Also, I’m glad to welcome back 75 employees who have now been released from quarantine and returned to work.

The number of HCSO teammates who have received positive test results for COVID-19 has grown to 37. And five inmates in the Harris County Jail have tested positive for the virus. We are working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions.

All jail employees have been issued protective masks and are instructed to wear them while on duty. All inmates have also been issued masks. Regular temperature checks are performed daily on all employees as they report for duty.

Additional staff members have also been assigned to field calls on the Inmate Care Concern phone line to help family and friends share concerns about the quality of care their loved ones are receiving. You can call 713-274-7477, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Inmate Care Concerns may also be submitted online here.

This Sunday we kick off National Telecommunicators week. I want to thank all of our communications teammates who serve a vital role in protecting our county. We celebrate all of you this week and you have my sincere appreciation for your service and your commitment to helping our residents.

Staying Safe During COVID-19

Life as we know it has come to a halt, but domestic violence has not. Stay-at-home measures may help prevent the virus, but you may now find yourself in a dangerous situation. No one should feel alone or unsafe. Please remember that you are not alone and we are here to help you. Do not give up, send us a message or call 713-221-6000 for help.

You can also contact the Houston Area Women’s Center at 713-528-2121 and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-787-3224, or text LOVEIS to 22522. If you are in danger, please call 911 immediately.

Recovery Resources

If you need help or advice dealing with COVID-19 please visit There are programs to assist with basic needs including housing, food, and healthcare. Dial 2-1-1 for more information.

If you are showing symptoms of illness such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath please click here for the screening tool to determine whether you may need further assessment or need to be tested for COVID-19. Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from the county with the Harris County Public Health dashboard, click here. If you have any questions please email them to and call 832-839-694 to report violators.

This is the time to stay on course and be stronger than ever. My team and I will continue to protect and serve through this crisis. Thank you to our constituents for your support. I hope everyone has a great Easter holiday. God bless all of you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – Together We Will Persevere

In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, but we still carry our oath to keep our residents safe. My team knows the risk of getting the virus is high but that doesn’t stop us. Our priority is to protect and serve our community.

The inevitable fact is that we are not immune and we are impacted like everyone else. Unfortunately, we have 14 teammates who have received positive test results for COVID-19. I am deeply concern as more first responders are getting infected in our region and I pray for their prompt recovery.

Within the last week, three Harris County Jail inmates tested positive for COVID-19. My team and I are doing our best to implement procedures to protect our staff and inmates, but unfortunately, no environment is immune.

This week, we received an order from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo mandating the temporary release of a narrow group of inmates with no history of violence. To be eligible for temporary release, an inmate must be charged with — but not yet convicted of — a crime that doesn’t involve violence or the threat of violence. Those charged with burglarizing homes or habitual drunk driving will be ineligible as well. The measures we are taking today will benefit both public health and public safety in our county.

To help reduce person-to-person contact with our residents during the COVID-19 pandemic we assigned more deputies to take non-emergency crime reports over the phone. Please watch the video below or click here.

File a report:

Staying Home, Safe, and Healthy

Harris County, we made it through another week. And now more than ever, we need to be united as a community and follow the Stay Home/Work Safe order, which was extended through the end of April. Stay informed with the latest COVID-19 data from the county with the Harris County Public Health dashboard.

I implore all of you to stay home and continue to enforce social distancing to help ‘flatten the curve’. We need to stop putting at risk the lives of the most vulnerable. I know that we will get through this, one day at a time because we are stronger together.

April marks the start of Stress Awareness Month and some of you might be facing unprecedented levels of stress as we navigate the impacts of the pandemic. Our psychologist, Dr. Robert Seals, shared a few tips — from Dr. Eileen Feliciano, a clinical psychologist at New York State — to help manage and reduce stress during this time.

Mental Health Wellness Tips for Quarantine:

  • Stick to a routine
  • Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have
  • Be active for at least thirty minutes per day
  • Reach out to your friends and family
  • Stay hydrated and eat well
  • Spend extra time playing with your children
  • Limit social media use
  • Notice the good in the world
  • Help others, if you can. Reach out for help, if you need it
  • Find a long-term project to dive into
  • Find lightness and humor in each day
  • Remind yourself daily that this is temporary

Even with heightened levels of concern surrounding the pandemic, try to maximize value out of every day. Remember, small things can make a difference.

We created this newsletter to keep you informed. And to our community, thank you for subscribing — within the last month, we have almost double the number of subscribers. Your readership and support mean a lot to us as we continue to serve and protect you. God bless all of you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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COVID-19 Update – Please Bag All Trash

Currently trash & recycle services will continue as normal.

Please refrain from generating additional heavy trash, such as cleaning garages, closets, extra yard work, etc. Due to extra volumes, trash is extremely heavy and our routes are running later than normal. Please be patient as we are doing our best to get all trash collected.

In response to the continuing effects of the Coronavirus and in observance of our employee’s safety, we are asking that all waste be placed in plastic bags and tied off to avoid any need for direct contact with the garbage.

Please continue to place your recycling loose in your container. Please break down all boxes and reduce in size as much as possible. If you exceed the capacity of the container, please bag and place with trash. However, if anyone in your household is exhibiting symptoms of any transmissible illness, please place recyclables in plastic bags and dispose of with your regular garbage.

Please do not call the office. Go to website for updates or contact

Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – We Are Stronger Together!

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our deputies, detention officers, and support staff are working around the clock to ensure our residents remain safe. But it’s extremely challenging for us to do our job without potentially being exposed to the virus. The reality is that we are not immune. Within the last week, seven teammates — six deputies and one civilian clerk — tested positive for coronavirus. Please join me in praying for a speedy, full recovery.

We are working with Harris County Public Health to identify co-workers, inmates, and members of the public who may have had close contact with the diagnosed employees so they can take necessary precautions, including a quarantine and testing those with symptoms.

This week, the county’s Stay Home, Work Safe Order was implemented, and our primary goal is to encourage voluntary compliance. In the overwhelming number of cases, a warning is all it takes to inspire compliance. Violators who ignore warnings can face possible fines and arrest for those who put our community at risk. Let’s not let it come to that. We are all in this together. Please stay home for us!

Stay Home, Work Safe Order

As our agency moves forward with enforcement of the county’s Stay Home, Work Safe order, we want you to know some important information.

Mental Health

Launched in 2017 with an eye toward the future, our telehealth program has been a game-changer and proved timely during this pandemic. COVID-19 has inspired stress throughout the nation, especially among our first responders. Our Clinician and Officer Remote Evaluation Program (CORE) offers direct access to a master’s level mental health clinician from The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD, via teleconferencing technology through an iPad. This allows patrol deputies to better assess mental health consumers out in the field in an attempt to reduce transports and hospitalizations.

We are equipping 100 deputies, including our Field Training Officers, with this technology. Deputies are currently being trained to assist them during this pandemic. We are training three to five deputies at a time, by the end of next week the training will be completed. Please remember, if you are in a mental health crisis, please know that you’re not alone, help is always available. Call 911 or 713-221-6000.

Today, we welcomed 21 new teammates into our family. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Basic County Corrections Course graduation ceremony was canceled but we did have a private small gathering for our new teammates. Now they are ready to serve our community. I wish all of you the best, and I know that you will be mentored by the best leaders and teammates. Serve with honor, and live up to the words on your patch, Pride of Texas.

We know our residents understand the severity of the pandemic. And everyone is doing all they can to keep themselves, their families and neighbors safe and healthy. The sacrifices you’re making are not in vain. We are stronger together! God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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