104 – Constitutional Authority
I. Constitutional Authority
The Office of Sheriff is established by Article 5, Section 23, of the Texas Constitution. The powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Sheriff are set out under various provisions of Vernon’s Annotated Texas Statutes, including, but not limited to: Civil Statutes, Government Code, Local Government Code, Family Code, Human Resources Code, Probate Code, Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Penal Code, and Code of Criminal Procedure. [CALEA Standard 1.2.1]
- The Sheriff is authorized to appoint deputies who shall be and are charged with the duties and responsibilities of a peace officer as that term is defined under State law. As peace officers, deputies are required, among other things, to protect life and property, to prevent criminal activity, and to enforce the laws. As appointees of the Sheriff, deputies additionally derive their authority from that of the Sheriff and are required to adhere to the rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines promulgated and adopted by the Sheriff. [CALEA Standard 1.2.1]
- As the chief executive officer of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), the Sheriff may promulgate and adopt a manual setting forth general policies, procedures, rules, and regulations for its employees. For the HCSO, the manual is called the “Department Policy.” [CALEA Standard 12.2.1]
- Harris County Personnel Regulations, HCSO Civil Service Regulations, and federal statutes shall enhance, govern, or supersede the HCSO policy when and where applicable.
II. Jurisdictional Boundaries
The Sheriff shall serve all of Harris County, and deputies shall take necessary action to enforce the laws of the State of Texas within their jurisdiction. The County of Harris was established in 1836 as Harrisburg County, and in 1839, Congress changed the name to Harris County in honor of John R. Harris. The County encompasses 1,788 square miles (1,729 land) which includes forty-one incorporated municipalities.
Harris County is located on the upper Gulf Coast in southeast Texas and is bordered by Waller County on the north and west, Montgomery County on the north, Liberty and Chambers Counties on the east, Galveston and Brazoria Counties on the south, and Fort Bend County on the west. The center point is at 95 degrees, 27’ west longitude and 29 degrees, 50’ north latitude. [CALEA Standard 2.1.1]
This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:
April 21, 2009