Collaborations and Overlapping Services in Harris County Law Enforcement
In Harris County, there are more than 60 law enforcement agencies. In general, these agencies provide a high level of service to area residents. However, there are possible efficiencies and improvements to be found. The funding that supports these entities mostly comes from local general funds and, on average, accounts for about 30 percent of local government budgets. The sheer number of agencies creates multiple overlapping services and duplicative costs. While several existing collaborations between local agencies have been successful, this more in-depth look at local law enforcement operations lays out possible options for improving service and cutting costs.
This report — in partnership with TischlerBise — is the second in a larger effort by the Kinder Institute for Urban Research to address critical issues of governance in the Greater Houston area. The research lays out the landscape of law enforcement in Harris County and notes existing overlapping services. From there it identifies areas where successful collaborations have taken place and explore options for future collaboration. For each option, it describes the pros and cons. Ultimately, the listed options are a starting point for discussions about how to continue to strengthen the county’s overall public safety efforts and create a high level of service for all residents.