249 – Special Assignment Duty

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I.  Purpose

Special assignment duty status will be given to employees who represent the HCSO and participate in authorized functions and activities.

II. Policy

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) supports employee volunteers who participate in specialized functions that enhance or improve services to the community.

III. Definitions

Authorized Function or Activity: Functions or activities that advance the HCSO mission and that enhance or improve the agency’s service to the community. Functions not specifically addressed in this policy will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Non-Paid Compensation: In lieu of cash payment, employees participating in authorized functions or activities outside of their regular duty hours will earn compensatory time for hours actually worked during such functions or activities.

IV. Procedures

Authorized functions and activities include, but are not limited to:

• HCSO Dive Team

• HCSO Honor Guard

• HCSO Junior Mounted Posse

• HCSO Mounted Patrol

• HCSO Tactical Medical Team

• Attending job-related training, conferences, or workshops

• Deputy participation in community or youth activities or events that are sponsored by the HCSO for the specific purpose of representing the agency

• Other functions, activities, or events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Limitations: Participation in sporting activities or charitable events in lieu of paid regular duty hours or for compensatory time cannot be sponsored as a HCSO function.

A.  An employee wishing to receive special assignment for any qualifying function or activity will make a request in writing (or, if the employee’s bureau or division uses the TeleStaff system, via a notation on his or her personal calendar) to his or her immediate supervisor. Verbal requests may be made for “on-call” unplanned emergency call-out events.

B.  The employee’s supervisor will consider available manpower in accomplishing the primary mission of the affected unit or division involved while giving consideration to actual participatory need.

C.  Whenever possible, an employee will be allowed to participate in a sanctioned HCSO function or activity and be given special assignment duty status.

D.  Employees who receive supervisor authorization will receive non-paid compensatory time for actual time on special assignment duty status. Paid overtime is not authorized for special assignment duty unless specifically authorized by the employee’s bureau commander.

E.  When the request involves participation in a designated HCSO “on-call” emergency function, the employee will be immediately released from regular duty assignment and placed on special assignment duty status. In the event of competing priorities for personnel resources within a particular division, the chain of command will be used to resolve disputes.


This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

December 17, 2009

June 18, 2014

June 28, 2021

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