The Harris County Sheriff's Office Is (Finally) Hiring Again

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia has lifted a hiring freeze that began in October 2009, touting steps he's taken to balance the department's budget.

"The hiring freeze is over," Garcia said. "Our budget controls have put us in a better position for the future. I will make sure we hold the line on crime."

The HCSO said Garcia had taken big steps to control the office's spending, saying when he took office in 2009, "the sheriff inherited spending that was $56 million over the amount budgeted by Commissioners Court. For the budget year that ended February 29 of this year, spending was $2.8 million below the budgeted amount -- a swing of almost $59 million a year."

"The budget was out of control," Garcia said at a press conference. "I brought in executives from the business world and told them it was irresponsible to allow this to happen. I challenged them to fix it and they did."

So now he's looking to hire 100 deputies.

The cost savings cited by Garcia include the use of civilians to staff many jail positions, reassigning the deputies now there to other duties. Sixty will go to the patrol unit and about 40 to crime investigations and protection of courts, the HCSO said.

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