Houston, Harris County leaders dispute claim of adequate funding for law enforcement

82 days out from a pivotal election, top Harris County Democratic leaders attempted to back their claim that they have adequately funded law enforcement during the worst crime wave in 40 years.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez reported thousands of additional arrests made possible by an increase in overtime funding, triggered in December by widespread public protest.


FOX 26 asked Gonzalez if he had been granted the additional funding in 2021, 2020, and 2019 would it have gotten the County ahead of the crime wave?

"Yes absolutely, anytime we have any additional overtime or resources it's always going to be a force multiplier," said Gonzalez.

The Sheriff went on to concede he has been asking for more "boots on the ground" for years

"Ever since I was elected Sheriff, we have been asking for additional resources as we assess crime in our community. We absolutely could use more," said Gonzalez.

The Sheriff's stunning candor undercut the claim of Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioner Adrian Garcia that Harris County Law enforcement was properly funded during the ongoing escalation of violent crime.


When asked about Democratic State Senator John Whitmire's suggestion that Hidalgo and allies "de-funded" law enforcement to bankroll other programs, the Judge went on the attack.

"It's sad that someone would echo that," said Hidalgo. "You know why John Whitmire is saying that? Because he is running for office, and he's willing to pander just like all of these Trump sycophants are willing to pander and say the election was stolen…It is a lie, and you are hurting our law enforcement, and you are hurting our democracy when you are willing to spread lies," 

FOX 26 has confirmed that Harris County Constables Ted Heap and Mark Herman have filed de-funding complaints with the state of Texas.

RELATED: Harris Co. Judge campaign challengers capitalizing on Hidalgo’s scandals

Hidalgo's opponent, Republican Alex Mealer was quick to respond.

"What I would say very straightforward is, Lina you are anti-law enforcement. You have not supported our law enforcement. You've created a revolving door at the courthouse," said Mealer, adding, "She broke our criminal justice system and now is passing the blame."

At the press event, Perrye Turner, Deputy County Administrator for Justice and Safety announced a new website safeharris.com outlining Harris County's public safety programs and investments.