Election Q&A: Harris County constable Precinct 4

Get to know the two candidates, Jeff McGowen and Mark Herman, who are running for Harris County Precinct 4 constable. (Community Impact Newspaper)
Get to know the two candidates, Jeff McGowen and Mark Herman, who are running for Harris County Precinct 4 constable. (Community Impact Newspaper)

Get to know the two candidates, Jeff McGowen and Mark Herman, who are running for Harris County Precinct 4 constable. (Community Impact Newspaper)



HOUSTON



Harris County Constable Precinct 4




*Indicates incumbent






Jeff McGowen



D



Occupation: sergeant, Harris County Sheriff's Office


Experience: 27 Year Peace Officer, Master Peace Officer, Certified Crime Prevention Specialist, CPTED Certified, Army Veteran, Past President Texas Crime Prevention Association, Past President Texas Gulf Coast Crime Prevention Association






What is the top issue you would address if elected?



JM: Property Crime: I truly believe in educating the public and teaching them how to prevent or reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime. I will insist the deputies assigned to communities in Precinct 4 are properly trained in crime prevention and community engagement. I will also use data to locate high crime areas and focus efforts on high incident areas with crime prevention teams to reduce crime.



Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?



JM: With over 27 years of law enforcement experience and working in a multitude of areas at the Sheriff's Office, I have dedicated my career to engaging, bridging the gap between law enforcement and all communities and educating groups as a Certified Crime Prevention Specialist and liaison. Witnessing the climate today, I am well suited to lead a 21st century law enforcement agency in a new direction.



If elected, what will you do to ensure your officers and those they come in contact with are protected from COVID-19?



JM: If elected, I will ensure officer safety in many ways. I will ensure the agency follows the [Centers for Disease Control] and county officials' guidelines and protocols. Isolate potential or exposed deputies, notify potential exposed citizens, provide decontamination stations and supplies, require the use of protective equipment and sanitize work stations in offices/dispatch and gear between shifts and use.



If elected, what will you do to ensure police brutality is not an issue in Harris County Precinct 4?



JM: If elected, I will review and enhance all policies currently in place at Precinct 4, to include use of force, de-escalation training, bias-based policing, cultural diversity, engaging youth and crisis intervention training. All complaints will be investigated by the Internal Affairs Division and reviewed by the Disciplinary Review Board for final decision. Training and accountability are the keys to ensure the reduction of police brutality.



If elected, what will you do to establish/maintain trust between law enforcement and Harris County Precinct 4 residents?



JM: If elected, building trust/maintaining trust with the community will be done on a day-to-day basis. An open-door policy, community engagement and crime prevention will be at the forefront of my administration, ensuring everyone has a seat at the table and an opportunity to voice said opinions, including those with opposing points of view. I will institute community-based meetings monthly to address the concerns of all segments of the population.



What is your stance on Harris County's bail bond reform?



JM: My stance on bail bond reform is violent criminals should remain in jail if evidence shows they are a continued threat to society (family violence, murder, sexual assault, aggravated robbery and the like). Misdemeanor cases should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, those that are repeat offenders and show an escalation in their behavior should be scrutinized before bail is awarded.









Mark Herman*



R



Occupation: Harris County Precinct 4 Constable


Experience: 35 years of law enforcement experience






What is the top issue you would address if elected?



MH: The top issue for me has always been public safety and keeping an open line of communication with all the citizens in Precinct 4.



Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?



MH: I am the most qualified candidate because in my 34 years of working at the people's constable's office, I know and understand the organization inside and out. More importantly, I know and understand how to effectively police and protect the hundreds of communities we serve throughout Precinct 4. I have a clear understanding of what our citizens expect.



If elected, what will you do to ensure your officers and those they come in contact with are protected from COVID-19?



MH: We will continue to listen to our health professionals on how to effectively utilize the personal protective equipment we have deployed to our personnel and citizens we come in contact with daily. At the onset of COVID[-19], I spent thousands of dollars of my own money to purchase personal protective equipment for my personnel.



If elected, what will you do to ensure police brutality is not an issue in Harris County Precinct 4?



MH: We will continue to abide by laws and the strict departmental policies that restrict and prohibit such conduct. Police brutality will never be tolerated.



If elected, what will you do to establish/maintain trust between law enforcement and Harris County Precinct 4 residents?



MH: We will continue our community-based policing approach and concepts, which we practice every day. Staying engaged and listening to our community is paramount in the success of any modern-day police agency. Additionally, we will continue to provide the many community services we currently provide. Visit us at www.constablepct4.com.



What is your stance on Harris County's bail bond reform?



MH: With the new bail bond reform currently in Harris County, I can honestly say in my 34 years, I have never seen more suspected criminals walking our streets. With this said, we at Precinct 4 have developed more innovative crime-fighting strategies. These suspects are let out of jail, with little or no bond requirements, and we are arresting the suspects again for new crimes. The system in place makes me, as a law enforcement leader, and my team more determined to fight harder for the citizens of Precinct 4.


By Hannah Zedaker
Born and raised in Cypress, Texas, Hannah Zedaker graduated from Sam Houston State University in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and a minor in political science. She began as an intern with Community Impact Newspaper in 2015 and was hired upon graduation as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in May 2016. In January 2019, she was promoted to serve as the editor of the Spring/Klein edition where she covers Spring ISD and Harris County Commissioners Court, in addition to business, development and transportation news.


MOST RECENT

HTV
Houston, Harris County annual addresses no longer hosted by Greater Houston Partnership over Texas voter bill dispute

Local leaders criticized the area chamber of commerce for not taking a definitive stance on two voting access bills currently being deliberated in the Texas Legislature.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens in Magnolia; get a sneak peek of new Houston aquarium and more metro news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member. (Courtesy Fire Smart, LLC)
Fire Smart, LLC celebrates one year of providing fire safety education across Greater Houston area

The business specializes in customized in-home consultations during which families will receive a fire safety plan specific to their house's floor plan and an age-appropriate, individualized plan for each family member.

The Houston Interactive Aquarium & Animal Preserve's marine building has sharks, turtles, stingrays, alligators, fish and eels. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
GALLERY: Get a sneak peak of the Houston Interactive Aquarium & Animal Preserve before it opens this month

The Houston Interactive Aquarium & Animal Preserve opens off Beltway 8 in the Humble area.

Originally built in the early 1840s, the Martin Frank House is the oldest standing structure still in the Klein community, and is one of only two houses still sitting on its original foundation. (Courtesy Klein Historical Foundation)
Klein Historical Foundation hoping to raise $100K to relocate Martin Frank House to Wunderlich Farm Interactive History Park

Originally built in the early 1840s, the Martin Frank House is the oldest standing structure still in the Klein community, and is one of only two houses still sitting on its original foundation.

Harris County ESD 11 plans to hire 150 individuals to staff its new ambulance services. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 aims to hire 150 staff to launch new EMS

The district launched its hiring effort in late April and held a virtual job fair April 29-30 to attract candidates.

Nearly 4,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Cy-Fair ISD during the 2020-21 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
80 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Cy-Fair ISD schools April 26-May 2

Nine staff members and 71 students on Cy-Fair ISD campuses tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Dotson Healthcare Institute owner Nicole Dotson said the facility will hold its first accelerated phlebotomy course May 17. (Courtesy Dotson Healthcare Institute)
Dotson Healthcare Institute to provide phlebotomy training, offer certified nursing assistant courses

Owner Nicole Dotson said the facility will hold its first accelerated phlebotomy course May 17.

From left: James Golden has been named principal of Spring ISD, while Stacy Rodgers Smith will serve as principal of Spring ISD's Virtual Learning Academy and LeFredrick Smith will serve as principal of Ponderosa Elementary. (Courtesy Spring ISD)
Spring ISD names Stacy Rodgers Smith principal of Virtual Learning Academy, fills other key leadership roles

Spring ISD officials named Stacy Rodgers Smith the principal of the district's new Virtual Learning Academy via social media April 30.

The gumbo pie is a House of Roux original. (Courtesy House of Roux)
House of Roux coming soon; Charming Charlie now open: 18 Spring-Klein business updates readers may have missed in April

Several businesses have either recently opened or are coming soon, expanding or relocating in the Spring and Klein area.

The Klein Virtual Academy is slated to open for the 2021-22 school year, pending full funding from the Texas Legislature, and will replace the district's current remote learning program, Klein Online. (Courtesy Canva)
Klein Virtual Academy expanded to include third grade; enrollment window extended until May 5

Klein Virtual Academy, Klein ISD's new online school planned for the 2021-22 school year, has been expanded to include students in third grade.

With more than 400 locations across 11 states, the Oregon-based drive-thru coffee company serves specialty coffee, smoothies, freezes, teas, a private-label Dutch Bros Blue Rebel energy drink and nitrogen-infused cold brew coffee. (Courtesy Dutch Bros Coffee)
Dutch Bros Coffee coming to Spring; Tha Roux Seafood opens in Katy and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.