Neighborhood Policing Division
Programs for Enhancing Neighborhoods and Improving the Quality of Life of Citizens of Harris County
The Neighborhood Policing Division is the newest division in the Harris County Sheriff's Office. It was implemented for the purpose of utilizing community policing practices to identify and solve neighborhood problems and thus improve the quality of life of the citizens living there. Community policing is law enforcement collaborating with the community - with those directly involved - to address social problems.
Included in the division are the department's model collaborative programs for responding to individuals with mental and/or behavioral health needs and a new Community and Problem-Oriented Policing Unit (CPOP).
To underscore the importance of this division, Neighborhood Policing is organizationally placed directly under Assistant Chief Mike Lee, who is over the Law Enforcement Command. Assistant Chief Lee is a nationally recognized expert in community policing and specialized programs for responding to individuals with mental or behavioral health needs.
Welcome to Our Website
The Harris County Sheriff's Office is committed to community policing and programs to enhance the quality of life of Harris County citizens. Our innovative programs are models for the state and nation. They are the result of a strong collaboration that exists between the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the community.
Our programs are examples of what can be accomplished when law enforcement and the community work together. The dedication, passion, and innovation of the many people working on these programs are reflected in this website.
- Sheriff Ed Gonzalez
Special Programs for Special Needs
Although we have had great progress and success with our model specialized programs in the Harris County Sheriff's Office, we continually work with our community partners to ensure we are doing all we can to serve our citizens. The implementation of the Neighborhood Policing Division is an example. We are very excited to have this new division devoted to enhancing neighborhoods and the quality of life of the citizens living there.
- Chief Deputy Mike Lee
Harris County law enforcement has been collaborating with The Harris Center for Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability (The Harris Center) and other community partners since 1991.
1991 - Law enforcement meets with CEO of The Harris Center to discuss increased bed capacity, streamlining of emergency detention process and mental health training.
1998 - Formation of Harris County Criminal Justice Workgroup to implement CIT training in Harris County.
1999 - Opening of NeuroPsychiatric Center and streamlining of the emergency detention process.
1999 - Pilot CIT program in Houston Police Department.
1999 - Houston Police Department starts CIT training. Deputies from the Haris County Sheriff's office attend.
2005 - State-mandated CIT training for all Texas peace officers.
2011 - Development of Crisis Intervention Response Team in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
2013 - Houston Recovery Center opens.
2015 - Development of Homeless Outreach Team in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
2017 - Telepsychiatry pilot implemented in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
2018 - Jail Diversion Center opens.
2020 - Cite and Release program starts.
2020 - Telehealth program for patrol implemented as a permanent program in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
2020 - Projects Guardian and Lifesaver implemented in the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
2021 - Telehealth program expands to seven Harris County constable offices.
2021 - Implementation of the Neighborhood Policing Division.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office's comprehensive policy on responding to individuals in behavioral crisis.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office's policy on responding to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Through community collaborations and supportive training, the HCSO enables its officers to respond appropriately to persons with mental health needs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, substance use conditions, and those experiencing homelessness.
(Wayne Young is the Chief Executive Officer of The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD)
We are proud to collaborate with the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez's department is setting a new standard in its model for how to improve respectful and harm-minimizing methods to meet the needs of those who struggle with mental illness.
(Armando Colombo is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Menninger Clinic)
The HCSO has been NAMI's prime collaborator for years in the cause for supporting safe responses to mental health crises. This has been a mutual collaborative effort on both our parts to educate law enforcement on the unique character of mental health interventions.
(Neal Sarahan is the former Executive Director of NAMI Greater Houston)