Harris County Sheriff candidates discuss priorities for curbing crime | #College. | #Students

Multiple positions in Harris County are up for election, including Harris County Sheriff as candidates Joe Danna and current sheriff Ed Gonzales compete for the position.

Both Republican candidate Danna and Democratic candidate Gonzales agree that crime in Harris County needs to be curbed, but both have varying methods of providing the service to the community.

Gonzales said that while he knows the sheriff’s office is only “one cog in a larger criminal justice system,” his office is focused on preventing violent crime while being aware of larger issues.

“I have the unique perspective of leading the largest jail in Texas,” he said. “I’ve learned that many who cycle through our jail suffer from mental-illness and addiction. The entire criminal justice system must become more creative and effective in dealing with these complex issues that tend to recycle through the system over and over and prove to be very costly and continue to foster crimes.”

Danna, who has previous experience with the FBI and HCSO, said Harris County is currently in a safety crisis due to low recruitment of staff, and low clearance rates for rape cases and burglaries.

“Our officers are overloaded, overwhelmed, undervalued and Harris County residents are underserved,” he said. “Recruitment is low because the current administration is ineffective and not supportive of officers. There is no leadership, there are politics and pandering.”

Gonzales said that HCSO works with community partners to serve all areas of the county including unincorporated portions like the Cypress, Klein and Spring areas.

“It is important to continue to work collaboratively with all public safety partners,” he said. “We’ve worked closely with Constables, DPS, HPD, school and college PD’s, and others. We’ve also worked with area chambers of commerce to address public safety concerns. Issues such as homelessness now extend to all parts of Harris County; Northwest and unincorporated areas of Harris County are no exception.”

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