Congratulations to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on his nomination to serve as the director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. I'm confident Sheriff Gonzalez is up to the challenge and will do a great job for President Biden.
Once Sheriff Gonzalez's nomination is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Harris County Commissioners Court will be required to appoint someone to serve as Harris County Sheriff until the next general election (Nov. 2022). To that end, I urge Commissioners Court to strongly consider PCT 1 Constable's Office Assistant Chief Deputy Lofton Harrison for that appointment. Before my retirement (Sept. 2019), I had the honor of serving with Chief Harrison over the years and know him to be a man of integrity, faith, and vision. Chief Harrison has the intelligence, education, character, inclusive management style, empathy, leadership abilities, and job experience to be an exceptional Sheriff.
At present, Chief Harrison oversees the PCT 1 Constable's Office Patrol Operations Division. Before his lateral move to the PCT 1 Command Staff, Chief Harrison had an extensive, distinguished career at the Harris County Sheriff's Office, to include HCSO commands within the Detective Bureau, Internal Affairs, PC Court, and Intake Processing. Of critical importance, Chief Harrison also has extensive knowledge of Harris County Jail operations and was a strong proponent of the city/county Joint Processing Center (JPC) project. Chief Harrison understands the importance of operating the county jail within the approved budget, while still providing all essential programs and services to incarcerated defendants. The days of running a budget deficit in the jail and then surprising Commissioners Court with the bill must come to an end. With 24 years of prior HCSO job experience, I'm confident Chief Harrison could hit the ground running on his very first day in Office. In addition, as someone with both HCSO and PCT 1 experience, Chief Harrison could help bridge the differences between the Sheriff's Office and the Constables, resulting in a more cohesive, effective, teamwork-oriented law enforcement system throughout the county.
Chief Harrison understands that reducing crime, protecting and serving the public, and maintaining the public's trust are among the highest priorities for any Sheriff. For these reasons and more, I strongly urge Harris County Commissioners Court to consider Assistant Chief Lofton Harrison for the upcoming Sheriff appointment.
To learn more about PCT 1 Assistant Chief Lofton Harrison, please click on the links below.
UPDATE: In May 2021, several current and former PCT 1 employees filed a federal lawsuit against Harris County, Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen, Assistant Chief Chris Gore, and Lieutenant Shane Ridgon alleging sexual harassment, sexual battery, civil rights violations, and retaliation. If those allegations are true, Constable Rosen and his co-defendants must be held accountable. That said, it is important to note that Assistant Chief Harrison is NOT a defendant in the lawsuit. Chief Harrison is an honorable, dedicated public servant and I stand by my recommendation.
UPDATE: On 7/20/21, Commissioners Court had to transfer another $10 million to the Harris County Sheriff's Office to cover projected budget shortfalls. This time, the HCSO cited the COVID pandemic and the winter storm (last Feb) as the reasons for the shortfall. Frankly, the HCSO runs a budget deficit almost every year, requiring cash infusions from Commissioners Court to make up the shortfalls. Given his detailed knowledge of HCSO operations, I firmly believe PCT 1 Chief Lofton Harrison would be the best person to quickly identify the current budget issues and make the necessary operational changes to get this matter resolved.
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