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

Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Hewlett Packard Enterprise to relocate headquarters from Silicon Valley to Springwoods Village

Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced Dec. 1 plans to relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California to a brand new campus in the Greater Houston area, which is under construction in CityPlace at Springwoods Village.

CCEMS provides emergency medical services for approximately 177 square miles of North Harris County. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Judge rules Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 can no longer withhold payments from Cypress Creek EMS

The ESD No. 11 board voted to terminate its contract with CCEMS on Sept. 3 after a long history of disagreements over the two entities’ 16-year relationship.

Klein ISD is seeking community input on the calendar for the 2021-22 school year. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Klein ISD seeks community input on 2021-22 calendar

Option A has the first day of school Aug. 18 and the last day of school May 27, before Memorial Day. Option B has the first day of school Aug. 23 and the last day of school on June 2, after Memorial Day.

To support this initiative, community members are encouraged to visit NAM's Blessing Tree, located at 15555 Kuykendahl Road, Houston, where they can choose a child's name and shop specifically for that child. (Courtesy Northwest Assistance Ministries)
Northwest Assistance Ministries in need of donations to support biggest Season of Blessings campaign in nonprofit's history

Northwest Assistance Ministries is in need of toys, food and monetary donations to provide meals to more than 1,700 families and toys to more than 5,300 children this holiday season. By comparison, the nonprofit provided meals for 994 families and toys for 1,773 children in 2019.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

The 24-hour hospital boasts the latest in diagnostic and surgical expertise, including health care, women's health and orthopedics. (Courtesy CHI St. Luke's Health The Vintage Hospital)
CHI St. Luke's Health The Vintage Hospital to celebrate 10 years in Northwest Houston on Dec. 10

The 24-hour hospital boasts the latest in diagnostic and surgical expertise, including health care, women's health and orthopedics.

Nearly 750 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Cy-Fair ISD from Sept. 8-Nov. 29. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Cy-Fair ISD reports 170 COVID-19 cases among students, staff Nov. 16-29

Most of these cases came the week leading up to Thanksgiving break from Nov. 16-22—only 38 cases were confirmed over the weeklong break when campuses were closed Nov. 23-29, according to district data.

The ice skating complex has been in business since 1995. (Courtesy Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex)
Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex celebrates 25 years of business in Willowbrook this month

A pro-shop tent sale is planned Dec. 4-5, featuring discounted hockey gear and figure-skating merchandise.

Dozens of clinics throughout the county offer COVID-19 testing services. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19 testing locations remain open in Montgomery County and more local news

Read the latest Houston-area business and community news.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

The total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities has increased by more than 50% over two weeks.

The Harris County Justice Administration Department is working to release final reports and launch pilot programs in early 2021. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County Justice Administration Department makes headway on countywide criminal justice studies

The department is working to release the final versions of several studies and launch pilot programs with local law enforcement groups in early 2021.