The Harris County Joint Task Force was launched two months ago with four members from the Sheriff's Office and three Precinct 3 Constable deputies.
Since then, 40 felons have been taken off the street. And task force members have made 30 misdemeanor arrests and have written a hundred traffic citations. Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia:
"Patrol deputies have been having to respond to a barking dog as much as to a bank robber. And this team is dedicated to focus on those chronic areas, and we believe it's making the community safe."
He says the task force responds to citizen complaints through the use of modern technology.
"They're getting information from a variety of areas, but it is through the iWatch Harris County phone application system that we shut down a hyrdroponic in-house grow operation — marijuana grow operation. And so we know that the system is working, and we want people to use it more often."
The task force is busy conducting special investigations of high crime areas, while freeing up regular deputies to respond to other calls for service.
Harris County Pct-3 Constable Ken Jones says he's happy to pad the unit with his deputies.
"We know there's drugs here. We know there's thievin' rings — you know — organized rings. We know that there's felons living in our community. We know there's child molesters out there that are not being monitored. So by doing this, we start finding these people, and we encourage people to call."
Task Force members were selected based on their productivity, efficiency and familiarity of the area.