Harris County Sheriff For The Day Gets Firsthand Look Into Daily Responsibilities

Today the Harris County Sheriff's Office swore in its first annual "Sheriff For The Day." The idea is to give qualified youths an inside perspective on the county's top law man's work — and breed the next generation of law enforcement officers.


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“I, Haley Harvey…”

“I, Haley Harvey…”

“…do solemnly swear…”

“…do solemnly swear…”

After District Court Judge Katherine Cabaniss swore in Haley Harvey as honorary Sheriff For The Day, work began right away for the 16-year-old aspiring law enforcement officer.

First item on the agenda was a command staff meeting. And Haley didn’t have a problem to — as Sheriff Adrian Garcia put it — “crack the whip.”

Sheriff Garcia and Haley Harvey
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and honorary Sheriff For The Day, Haley Harvey, in command staff meeting

Haley: “Who here has not turned in their awards?”

Major Jones: “I have two more.”

Haley: “Be sure to get that done.”

“It’s all about the idea of them knowing that reaching the highest ranks of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office is totally within their reach.”

Sheriff Garcia says teenagers like Haley, who are part of the agency’s Explorers program, have good chances of being hired by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. As part of that program, young people between the ages of 14 and 21 learn what it’s like to be a sheriff’s deputy. It’s supposed to help them decide if they want to pursue a law enforcement career.

Garcia calls it the “farm club” of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

“And so, my staff has instructions that when an Explorer, who reaches the proper age of 18 or 21 and decides they want to join the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, their application gets prioritized.”

Haley was selected to be Sheriff For The Day based on attributes such as leadership, commitment, grades and participation.

command staff meetingShe says she’s been interested in becoming a law enforcement officer ever since she witnessed a robbery in a Wal-Mart parking lot several years ago.

“It stuck with me because it opened my eyes to the real world and what actually happens and that just … I knew that I wanted to do something about that and that’s really what led me here.”

Haley says the day will make her appreciate the daily work of the sheriff. But she already has a pretty clear idea of her real career path after she graduates.

“I was thinking about first of all becoming a detention officer and going up to patrol deputy and maybe transferring to the homicide division, possibly.”

During her day as sheriff, Haley’s schedule included visiting a storefront operation, patrolling the Houston Ship Channel and co-hosting a forum with education leaders.