The Operations Bureau is home to the Law Enforcement Services of the Sheriff's Office. Headed by the Operations Bureau Commander, the Bureau consists of the Patrol Division, Animal Control Division, Communications Division, and Network Operations.
The Patrol Division
The Patrol Division Personnel are the primary contact our citizens have to gain law enforcement services in San Jacinto County. Where other employees may handle investigative and service related needs, the patrol deputy is generally the first policeman the public comes into contact with.
As is required by law, all of the sworn deputies within the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Office are licensed as Peace Officers by the State of Texas. Each deputy receives at least the minimum training through an authorized law enforcement academy. The minimum hours of training, currently in Texas, is 618 hours. Most academies run between 800 and 1000 hours for training. Once appointed to our agency, each deputy receives 'Field Training'. The hours of this training depend on previous experience of the deputy. A minimum standard is set by the Sheriff at 80 hours. The maximum is set to 10 weeks (400 hours). Training consists of working side by side with a certified field training officer who teaches our new deputy to do his job in San Jacinto County. This includes learning our policies and procedures; learning our streets, roads, businesses, and other important geographical information; learning the procedures of our District Attorney's Office; learning our computer systems and paperwork within the Sheriff's Office; advanced proficiency with firearms and other tools of our trade; and how to function in a community policing agency.
The Sheriff's Office is limited by budget, at this time, to only 17 full time paid patrol deputies. This allocation includes 12 deputies assigned to patrol and 4 Sergeants to supervise those deputies. To ensure we have a minimum number of patrol deputies on the street in a 24 hour day, the Sheriff has developed a schedule which places 1 Patrol Sergeant and 3 Patrol Deputies on duty on 4 - 12 hour shifts. The absolute minimum manpower to maintain officer safety is 3 on-duty at any time. The deputies are assigned to segments of the county called "Districts". This enables the deputy to be closer to the citizens within his/her district and to learn the movements and habits of the citizens. This simple feature of community policing helps the deputy to have a better than average opportunity to locate those who would do evil and better protect the citizens.
Our Patrol Deputies respond to all types of calls for service. Whether it is assisting a stranded motorist or working a death case, each deputy is trained and prepared to deal with whatever the shift calls for. When not actively working a call, the deputy patrols within his district proactively looking to stop problems. No matter the weather or the time of day or night, your Patrol Deputies are there to serve and protect the citizens and visitors of San Jacinto County.
Animal Control Division
The Sheriff's Office is responsible for the collection and humane disposition of stray dogs and cats within San Jacinto County. The division assigned to handle this large task is the Animal Control Division. Commissioner's Court has approved 1 Deputy Sheriff to this position. The Animal Control Deputy is a sworn peace officer. His duties include collection and care for stray dogs and cats, investigation of Animal Cruelty Complaints, and Bite Cases. While the Uniformed Patrol Division can handle Cruelty and Bite Cases, only the Animal Control Deputy is permitted, by law, to pick up stray dogs and cats.
The hours of operation of the Animal Control division are 9am - 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. No after hours pick up services are provided. The procedure for requesting a stray dog or cat be picked up are:
1. Call the dispatcher at 936-653-4367 and report the location where the stray dog or cat is. You may call at any time, 24 hours a day, however, the animal will only be picked up during normal operating hours.
2. The dispatcher will complete a call slip with all pertinent information. If after hours, the call slip will be placed in the mail box for the Animal Control Deputy to be handled upon his return to service.
3. Upon signing on-duty, the Animal Control Deputy will collect the call slips and begin response to the oldest call slip first. If a call for service is received during normal operating hours, the Animal Control Deputy will make every effort to attend to that call during his shift.
Stray dogs and cats shall not be collected outside of the normal operating hours of the Animal Control Division, to include bite cases.
The Communications Division is home to the San Jacinto County Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC). Personnel assigned to this division are licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) as Texas Communications Officers. Our EDC is supervised and managed by the Communications Supervisor and Assistant Communications Supervisor.
The emergency dispatch discipline in place in our county is called a 'centralized dispatch system'. This means that all communications, be it law enforcement, fire, ambulance, or emergency management, originates through our EDC. The benefit to this system is that no one entity is required to establish and maintain their own dispatch system, and all information occurring in our county is shared with all other entities via the EDC. Our EDC supports the Sheriff's Office, the Constable's Offices, School District Police, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Parks and Wildlife Department, all Fire Departments in San Jacinto County, the EMS/Ambulance Service in San Jacinto County, and the Office of Emergency Management. The County Judge and our Commissioners are able to speak directly to the EDC and our units in the field via a special radio frequency developed for the Office of Emergency Management. Additionally, the EDC maintains channels for other agencies in the state and our region to contact us via radio.
There is never less than 2 dispatchers on duty at any time in the EDC. 3 system consoles exist to serve all of the entities requiring communications services. The primary contact for life threatening emergencies in San Jacinto County is the 911 system. Our 911 system is capable of pin-pointing mobile calls by GPS. Our EDC also routes non-emergency calls for the Sheriff's Office. Our EDC houses and operates our State and National Information Sharing Systems. This computer system, called the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS) and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS), provides our law enforcement officers with real-time information on any type of activity occurring anywhere in the country. Additionally, it provides the usual Driver's License information, Registration Information, Stolen and Wanted Information, and Homeland Security Information utilized by law enforcement officers every day.
Our radio systems are the heartbeat of our operations in the EDC. Being much more reliable than cell phones, officer safety and immediate communications needs for call response are handled by radio. San Jacinto County works it's primary calls and radio traffic on the VHF radio system. This P-25 Digital Radio System is the authorized network in the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) and permits all 12 counties within the COG to communicate with each other. The frequencies for this system are publicly available and our citizens are able to monitor our routine radio traffic via specially designed scanners available on the market. Another system in place is the 700 MHz Radio System of the Texas Regional Radio System. This system permits our EDC and units in the field to communicate directly with our neighbors who are not on the regional VHF radio system. It also provides distance coverage for our units, such as jail transport units, as they travel outside of San Jacinto County to other parts of the state. As an additional security measure for tactical communications, the Sheriff's Office maintains a series of talk-groups on the 700 MHz system that are highly encrypted to prevent criminals from monitoring our radio traffic. The Sheriff's Office also maintains a system that utilizes the internet for radio traffic on our primary VHF radio system. Generally, anywhere there is a highway in our state, there is internet coverage. This closed and secure system also allows radio continuity for our units traveling outside of our county where they cannot access a radio signal.
Our dispatch personnel are highly trained to handle this very demanding job. They are your very first contact when an emergency occurs in San Jacinto County. They will see you through your demanding issue and ensure that highly qualified personnel are on the way to help you.
This area of operations is highly confidential and protected. That being said, this area concerns the internal and external communications capabilities of the Sheriff's Office. In addition to our 2-way radio systems, it involves our systems which allow records management, Computer Aided Dispatch, Mobile Computer Capabilities, and GIS/AVL systems. Specifics of these systems are not public information, however, are very important to a complete communications capability for the Sheriff's Office.