Cy-Fair Edition | October 2020

CANDIDATE Q&A

2020 Voter Guide

Get to know the candidates running in the general election

Democrat D

Green G

Independent I

Libertarian L

Republican R

Incumbent

COMPILED BY HANNAH ZEDAKER

Harris County sheriff

ED GONZALEZ

JOE DANNA

Occupation: master peace officer Relevant experience: 27 years as a law enforcement officer in Harris County 409-449-1564 • www.dannaforsheriff.com

Occupation: Harris County sheriff Relevant experience: Four years as sheriff; Houston Mayor Pro Tem and chair of Houston City Council Public Safety Committee; 18 years with the Houston Police Department, rising to the rank of Sergeant, leading homicide investigations and serving on the elite hostage negotiation team; bachelor’s in criminal justice 832-534-3847 • www.edgonzalez.com

D

R

What is the top issue you would address if elected?

My first priority is always public safety. I get up every morning and work hard every day to keep Harris County safe—through hurricanes, floods and this pandemic—and of course from crime. In addition to keeping our neighborhoods free from crime, we’ll continue to transform outdated models for how jails should work. For example, we’ve set up the first 24-hour diversion desk to ensure people with mental health challenges get treatment instead of jail.

Harris County is in the midst of a safety crisis. Per the Harris County Budget Management Department, there are 101 budgeted, unfilled positions for deputies and sergeants. The current Sheriff has $25 million more than the previous administration and yet there are less officers, less than 13% clearance rate for rape cases and less than 3% clearance rate for burglaries. The officers we do have are overloaded, overwhelmed, undervalued and Harris County residents are underserved.

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

The department is following CDC and local guidelines based on the latest science and research. In addition, we have provided deputies and jail staff with PPE (personal protective equipment), including face masks, eye goggles, gloves, and body suits. Patrol deputies have been given cleaning materials they are using to disinfect their vehicles any time they are called upon to transport a suspect.

Prevention training is the number one issue I see. COVID jailer and officer training and retraining have become nonexistent. Mitigation efforts need to be ongoing. Officers need to feel confident that their personal health is safe, respected and important through frequent training, PPE fit checks and inventory monitoring. Law enforcement officers are on the frontline providing safety for the community, they are owed our best efforts to keep them from falling ill.

Answers may have been edited for length. Read full Q&A’s at communityimpact.com/vote .

est. 1978

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CY-FAIR EDITION • OCTOBER 2020

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