Montgomery County Sheriff

Montgomery County Sheriff & Republican Candidates

Montgomery County Sheriff & Republican Candidates

Rand HendersonRand Henderson


Occupation: captain with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
832-521-8489
www.randhenderson.org



Overcrowding at the Montgomery County jail has become a major issue. What is your opinion on possible solutions to this problem?


It has been our platform from the beginning that pretrial detainees are the lion’s share of what is in the jail creating the overcrowding problem. So we look to judicial efficiency and efficiency between the different branches of county government to move that process along. We think it has had an effect. It used to be our jail population was continuing to climb and we were up around 1,400 inmates two years ago. So we have a capacity of 1,253, and we are supposed to keep for classification purposes around 1,128. I think last night’s count was 964, so we are well below that.



What strategies would you bring in to the Sheriff’s department in order to ensure every community in Montgomery County has their law enforcement needs met?


The beauty of community policing is it is specifically tailored to the specific community you address within our jurisdiction. So the needs of those in The Woodlands, for example, they have different rules there, they have different standards and they have different expectations. That is why you communicate with the public and on a lot of issues, especially disorder issues that are not crime issues. You communicate, and what is important to the community becomes what is important to the sheriff’s office. For example, a car up on blocks is a big issue in some communities, and it is not a big issue in others. So we should not treat both the same.


Community policing is a philosophy within an agency, and it starts at the top. It is a belief that two-way communication with the public is essential. It incorporates crime prevention, and it also involves problem solving. You make efforts within the community to reduce calls for service. It is not a program, it is a philosophy of the actual agency and you have to start at the top. I have been involved in it since the ‘90s, and it is one of my passions. I am the one who is prepared to take that step to make it happen.



Why are the most qualified candidate to serve as sheriff?


I am the local candidate, and I have been here as a part of the community. I have the credentials and made the preparations, and I have taken the steps to become the next sheriff. I have the leadership abilities, the management experience, the budget experience and the ability to lead large commands. I have led large commands and multiagency, multifaceted commands during emergency disasters, such as hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and the [Magnolia] wildfires in 2011. I served as the public information officer in critical incidents as well, so I have the knowledge, the background, experience and support of the department because I have their respect.



Jim NapolitanoJim Napolitano


Occupation: police chief, city of Montgomery
281-475-9343
www.napolitanoforsheriff.com



Overcrowding at the Montgomery County jail has become a major issue. What is your opinion on possible solutions to this problem?


Overcrowding in the jail is a cause and effect of our court system not being able to process the number of people being adjudicated. The population of Montgomery County has grown faster than the court system. Our court system needs to be expanded to keep up with the growth. A quick fix for the overcrowding [that has been used] is to find surrounding county jails to accept our overcrowded inmates. This puts a strain on families and inmates’ legal representation to have to travel to see the inmate prior to trial. This also creates greater cost in transportation of inmates for the county. When I take office as sheriff I will ask for a complete audit, both financially and of the current infrastructure. Once the analysis is complete, the report will be made public. Based on the analysis, a solution will be presented.



What strategies would you bring in to the Sheriff’s department in order to ensure every community in Montgomery County has their law enforcement needs met?


Cooperation between the sheriff’s office and all other agencies—such as constable offices, all other incorporated police departments throughout the county and the Department of Public Safety—will enhance our ability to respond to calls for service. A strategic plan for critical incident situations along with a memorandum of understanding with these entities for any situation that might occur needs to be implemented. This can be accomplished by better cooperation at the communications level, at the command level and at the street level. An understanding between all these departments and a greater cooperation will only lead to the citizens of Montgomery County getting better results from their law enforcement.



Why are the most qualified candidate to serve as sheriff?


Due to my experience and leadership in local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as corporate and small business, I have a very broad path of experience. Having worked dispatch, patrol, jail, investigations and protection with a large number of cases, this gives me more experience than just working at one agency. I take all this experience from my time at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, Marathon Oil, my own private security business and the Montgomery Police Department. Through the United States Secret Service I worked local, national and international criminal cases. These cases encompassed everything from local street crimes to international terrorist organizations. If you are looking for the change that is needed, the improvements and ideas that are missing currently—a new era in law enforcement—I am your candidate.


Candidates’ responses were edited for space.