250 – Sheriff’s Office Employee Identification

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I.  Purpose

An employee will not permit any other person to borrow, possess, or use any identification items issued by the HCSO.

II.  Policy

Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) employees will be personally responsible for the official identification items issued to them as members of the agency (e.g., badge, mini badge, and identification cards).

III.  Definitions

Former Reserve Law Enforcement Officer: A person who has served in that capacity not less than a total of fifteen (15) years with one or more state or local law enforcement agencies.

Honorably Discharged: A separation of licensee designation established by TCOLE as provided on Form F-5 (Texas Occupations Code, Section 1701.452).

Honorably Retired Peace Officer: A non-appointed person with a Texas peace officer license who has a cumulative total of 15 years of full-time service as a peace officer. An honorably retired peace officer does not carry any peace officer authority. [TCOLE Rules, Title 37, Section 211.1 (a)(32)]

Official Identification: Any identification to include identification cards, building access cards, or badges that associate a person with the HCSO.

Qualified Retired Peace Officer: A person who has served in that capacity not less than ten (10) years with one or more state or local law enforcement agencies.

TCOLE: Texas Commission on Law Enforcement

IV.  Procedures

A.  New Identification:

All newly-employed personnel will be issued official identification reflecting their status and position with the HCSO. All personnel will present their HCSO identification card when requested by any member of the Sheriff’s Office or a member of the public community. Commissioned peace officers will take and abide by an oath of office to enforce the law and to uphold the nation’s Constitution prior to assuming sworn status.

1.  The official identification card must include:

•  Employee’s full name

•  Employee’s photograph

•  Appointing official’s signature

•  Employee’s rank or position

•  Brief description of employee

•  Thumbprint or barcode identification label

•  Date of issue for appointment or employment

•  Expiration date:

Employees and Reserves: End of elected term of appointing official

Honorably Retired and Qualified Retired: Ten years from date of issuance.

•  The words “State of Texas” and the state seal

•  Validity: 24-hour verification telephone number

2.  Peace Officers: The identification card must certify that the appointee is a “full-time peace officer” or a “part-time peace officer.”

NOTE: The person named on this card is a full-time or part-time peace officer and is entitled to carry a concealed firearm under Texas state law [Texas Penal Code 46.1.5 (A)(1)] and federal law [18 U.S.C. 926B].

3.  Reserve Officer: The identification card must certify that the appointee is a “reserve law enforcement officer.”

4.  Honorably Retired Peace Officer: The identification card must certify that the holder is an “honorably retired peace officer.”

5.  Qualified Retired Peace Officer: The identification card must certify that the holder is a “qualified retired peace officer.”

B.  Lost or Stolen Identification:

1.  An employee will immediately report the loss or theft of any county property issued or assigned to him or her. Loss of official identification or badge will be reported immediately to the Sheriff or his or her designee through the chain of command to include an affidavit of loss signed by the employee and a written report with a case number from a law enforcement agency detailing the circumstances of the loss.

At the direction of the employee’s bureau commander, the employee will report to (HR) for issuance of replacement identification.

2.  A retired employee requesting replacement for official identification that was lost or stolen must make a report of the loss to a law enforcement agency and obtain a case number. A copy of the incident report with the case number, along with a signed affidavit of loss, will be submitted to (HR) with a written request for the issuance of replacement identification.

All documentation related to lost or stolen official identification will be maintained in the employee’s permanent personnel file.

C.  Surrender Identification:

Whenever any HCSO employee is suspended, resigns, retires, or is separated from the agency due to termination, leave of absence, military leave, family leave, other extended absences either long term or temporary, death, or for any other reason, he or she will surrender all official identification, including: badge, mini badge, building access card, and any other identification associating him or her with the HCSO, to his or her commanding supervisor or (HR). Additionally, the employee will return his or her department manual and all uniforms and issued equipment directly to Uniform Supply.

All official identification and badges will be submitted to HR for final disposition.

D.  Retirement Identification:

The HCSO will issue official retirement identification to employees who retire from the agency under honorable discharge conditions in accordance with TCOLE rules. The eligible employee will submit a written request at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled retirement through the chain of command to his or her bureau commander, who will accomplish a query of the employee’s employment history and make recommendation to (HR).

(HR) will review the recommendation and validate eligibility for an honorable discharge, qualified retired peace officer, and former reserve peace officer in accordance with the TCOLE rules. A copy of the letter of request, any associated documents, and retirement identification will be placed in the discharged employee’s permanent personnel file.

NOTE: Identification cards for retired sworn and retired reserve personnel will contain the language: “The holder qualifies for the right to carry a firearm under federal law, 18 U.S.C.A. §926C.”

E.  Expired Identification:

Honorably, qualified, and former reserve retired HCSO employees with expired official identification may receive replacement identification cards by making a written request to (HR). The request will include the retiree’s: full name, date of birth, Social Security number, and current physical residential address.

(HR) will conduct a criminal history check to confirm the retiree’s continued honorable status and will issue replacement identification on that basis.


This policy has been revised on the below listed dates:

March 22, 2010

December 28, 2016

May 8, 2018

June 29, 2021

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