HCSO Newsletter #106 – In Loving Memory of Detention Officer Robert Perez 
Our Sheriff’s Office family came together on Wednesday to celebrate the life of our brother and teammate, Detention Officer Robert Perez.
We were joined by his close circle of loved ones and remembered a beloved father, brother, and public servant who devoted his life to his sons, Armando and Diego, and community. He is our fourth colleague agency-wide to pass away after contracting COVID-19.
Over the past five years in our ranks, Detention Officer Perez showed us what makes the Sheriff’s Office “The Pride of Texas.” 
He answered the call for service at an early age, enlisting in the U.S. Navy the same year he graduated Brazosport High School in 1985. He served his country for nearly a decade, earning a number of service ribbons and accolades.
He was made for the job, working shoulder to shoulder with his fellow detention officers inside the county jail to ensure the well-being of everyone there.
Last week’s record-setting, bitterly cold temperatures and massive power outage crisis in the face of a pandemic and rising jail population were a reminder of one of our most important responsibilities – overseeing the state’s largest jail. 
As hard as this was on so many within our Sheriff’s Office family and across our greater community, Detention Officer Perez’s spirit was with us.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been met with an unending string of challenges. Detention Officer Perez answered the call every shift, day in and day out, despite the hardships. 
As a detention officer, you show up in people’s lives on what may be their worst days and are on the front lines of safeguarding their care. Detention Officer Perez understood this responsibility and was honored to earn the public’s faith and trust every time he put his uniform on.
His greatest assignment of all was being a father. At the center of his world were his two sons. He was a hands-on dad and role model, always going above and beyond to care for them.
We honor him by staying the course at a moment when our community needs us the most. Each of us plays a role in fighting this virus. Each of us must lead by example and build on what’s working – staying informed, remaining positive, and following the guidance of the CDC and local public health officials.
We pray that Detention Officer Perez’s family finds peace and comfort in knowing how the difference he made. We will keep him and his family in our hearts.
Winter Storm Recovery Help
Many of our neighbors are still facing home issues and in need of basic necessities. The ReadyHarris Winter Weather Recovery Page has a wide range of recovery information for those seeking assistance.
Basic Needs Assistance
The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE answers calls from our community 24/7/365 days a year. Those with internet access can also go online to check for available resources. The 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE is updated daily as resources become available.
FEMA Assistance
Texans in more than 100 counties can begin applying for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help them recover from last week’s winter storm. Insured Texans should first file claims through their existing policies. Learn what steps to take before applying for assistance here.
Texans interested in receiving disaster assistance must apply through disasterassistance.gov. Residents without internet access can call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-3362 to apply for assistance or check application status.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund
The Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund is dedicated to filling the gaps that may not be met by other local and federal efforts. 
To learn about fund resources as they become available, text HoustonFreeze to 898211 or for Spanish, text HoustonAyuda to 898211. As soon as assistance is available, residents will be texted back with eligibility and application guidelines.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office Initiates DDACTS Program
The Sheriff’s Office is on the path to implementing a proven, evidence-based policing strategy called Data-Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). This operational model is rooted in local data collection and analysis and establishes effective methods for deploying law enforcement personnel and other critical resources to crime, crash and traffic-related hot spot areas.

“Hotspot technologies have given us the ability to understand crime and traffic patterns, as well as patterns of victimization,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “DDACTS is a cost-effective approach and powerful tool that leverages technology and data to tell us when and where to focus our countermeasures for long-term change.”

The goal of DDACTS is to develop strategic and analysis-driven operational plans that reduce high incidences of crashes and crime, as well as overall social harm over time. It starts with building community relationships and partnerships and draws on the deterrent value of high-visibility, targeted patrol and traffic enforcement.

Dozens of our teammates across our agency – command staff, patrol district leaders, patrol deputies, Crime Reduction Unit deputies, traffic investigators, and crime analysts – attended a day-long implementation workshop on the DDACTS model. Over the next several weeks and months, we will be working toward implementing this initiative as a pilot program in Patrol District I in north Harris County. 

The move toward a greater reliance on data analysis to identify the nexus of crashes and crime builds on our philosophy of community-oriented policing and reinforces the vital role that our residents and partners play in ensuring public safety. As first responders, we know firsthand that crashes and crime often occur in close proximity and that crimes regularly involve the use of motor vehicles. We also know that vehicle stops can yield valuable intelligence.

DDACTS promotes transparency and accountability and demonstrates the power of data to address disproportionately affected areas. It also employs routine information sharing among key divisions in our agency and underscores the collective ownership of the initiative.

Most importantly, it’s information we can act on. Regularly generated progress reports by our crime analysts on the type of crime or crash, its location, and the time of day that it occurred will keep deputies and residents informed and lay the foundation for assessing effectiveness in the use of specific operational techniques and personnel deployment. This constant monitoring and evaluation provide valuable feedback for adjustments and realigning resource allocation. It will serve as a complement and force multiplier to our existing community-oriented policing and proactive crime reduction efforts seen in our various dedicated units and task forces, such as our Traffic Crimes Unit targeting every aspect of street racing and street takeovers. 

As an agency, we’re always exploring innovative strategies and approaches that align with our core values, improve our deployment decisions, and focus on better serving and engaging our residents.

For more information on DDACTS and its operating guidelines, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
"Investigators say these kinds of car meets and too much of this reckless driving are happening more often around Harris County.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez put together a task force to investigate this kind of behavior. According to Harris County District Attorney's Office Sean Teare, a number of people have been arrested directly through the task force, but he didn't say how many."
"Calls were coming into 911 and other law enforcement lines at three times the normal rate, said Jason Spencer, a spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, from people desperately seeking advice about burst pipes, asking what the symptoms of hypothermia might be or just looking for some deliverance from the bitter cold.

Emergency workers, many leaving behind their own families in frozen and powerless homes, responded to calls for assistance by navigating dangerously icy roads."
"To get these individuals to warming centers, the Coalition for the Homeless and its partnering agencies through The Way Home worked with the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Houston Police Department to dispatch homeless outreach teams to offer transportation in areas where unsheltered individuals are known to congregate." 
HCSO Social Media
Join Us in Congratulating the Achievement of Our Newest Deputies
The deputies went through our new Detention Officer to Deputy Program and they are preparing to enter field training. We are so incredibly proud of them and wish them well.
We Celebrated the Life of Fallen HCSO Detention Officer and U.S. Navy Veteran Robert Perez
We Hosted a Free Water Distribution Event With Community Partners To Help Our Neighbors Who Are Facing Home Issues and in Need of Drinking Water Following Last Week’s Winter Storm
Follow Our Homeland Security Bureau on Twitter: Our Maritime Tactical Operations Section Deputies Play an Important Role in Securing One of the Largest Ports in the Nation 
Happy Go Texan Day!
Today would have marked the beginning of rodeo season – one of our city’s civic pride points and a time-honored and beloved salute to our cowboy heritage and deep Texas roots. 

Although we’re not taking in all that we’ve come to love about the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this season, we can still celebrate our “Big as Texas” pride in honor of Go Texan Day.

Many of our teammates are wearing western attire today. In Houston, going Texan tells everyone that you belong to this county and great state, and it belongs to you. It’s something we pride ourselves on. It’s unmatched. 

Dust off your cowboy boots and wrangle up some blue jeans!
Miss Last Week's Newsletter?
HCSO Newsletter #105 - Pray for Texas

The end of the week and higher temperatures could not come soon enough. We endured a massive winter storm and power outage crisis in the midst of a pandemic. Most everyone suffered through prolonged stretches without power or running water. Many...

Read more