Message from Sheriff Ed Gonzalez – We are in this Together!

As our county battles the COVID-19 pandemic, we prioritize our third core value, to protect our residents with honor and courage. Unfortunately, we are not immune. As of Friday, 181 teammates — including 163 who work in the Harris County Jail — tested positive for coronavirus. And as of Friday, 129 inmates in the jail have tested positive for COVID-19.

I’m thankful 39 employees who previously tested positive for the virus, have recovered, and are now back on duty. I keep praying for the recovery of our eight teammates currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

It has been a difficult week. My teammates and I are heartbroken. We had to say goodbye to two members of our family. We lost retired reserve Lt. Tom Morgan and we also lost a beloved patrol deputy.

World War II veteran Lt. Morgan passed away from natural causes on Tuesday, April 21, at the age of 99. He retired as Texas’ oldest certified lawman at the age of 98. Please keep the Morgan family in your thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.

We are also extremely sad to report the passing of a patrol deputy who took his own life. He was a 36-year-old and served our residents for five years. Our condolences go out to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.

If you are thinking of harming yourself, please seek help. Your life matters. Please dial the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD activated the COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 833-251-7544 to help our community. Call 713-221-6000 or 911 if it’s an emergency.

This week our HCSO Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) was expanded by four deputies, bringing our total to 10. We will now have a team assigned to each of our five patrol districts. Our Homeless Outreach Team helps educate the homeless and takes other steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Click here to watch a video of our Homeless Outreach Team helping our community during the pandemic.

Beginning this Saturday, April 25, our District 2, located in northeast Harris County, will have a District Tactical Unit (DTU) aimed at disrupting, dismantling, and apprehending violent criminal offenders.

Protect Yourself

Harris County, we made it through another week. Now more than ever, we need to be united as a community and make a difference.

On Wednesday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed a new order requiring all residents over the age of 10 to wear a face-covering when out in public. It takes effect Monday, April 27, and remains in effect for 30 days. For more information about the order please click here. Our agency is taking an educational approach to the order, urging residents to voluntarily comply. Our goal is to keep our residents safe. Patrol deputies are being given a few extra masks to offer to residents they meet without one.

The Harris County Public Health encourages residents to get tested for COVID-19 if you feel you have it or have been in contact with someone who tested positive. Click here for more information. HCPH also recommends to keep enforcing the following steps to protect ourselves against the virus:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
  • Stay home when you feel sick
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

If you need assistance dealing with coronavirus please visit There are programs for our residents to help with basic needs including housing, food, and healthcare. Dial 211 for more information.

Stay Alert and Safe

In the last few days, my team has seen far too many car accidents. This last week two children — a one-year-old and a four-year-old — lost their lives in separate car crashes because they weren’t in their child safety seats. Car seats save lives and prevent injuries. Please inspect your child’s car seat to make sure it’s properly installed. SAFE KIDS Greater Houston is offering a virtual car seat check. Call 832-822-2277 for more information. I implore all of our residents to slow down, buckle up, and don’t drink and drive. Please be safe!

Harris County, we are resilient and we will get through this together. Let’s count our blessings, and keep moving forward. God bless you, and God bless the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

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