Montgomery County Sheriff
Jim Napolitano ✔
TPP recommends Jim Napolitano
Montgomery County residents will be voting for a new Sheriff to replace retiring Sheriff Tommy Gage. The new Sheriff will have to address increasing threats within our county from population increase, illegal immigration, and even ISIS. On top of that, coordination and cooperation between the law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County must be significantly improved to make our county the least attractive target in this region. It is unacceptable for the two largest law enforcement agencies in Montgomery County, the Conroe Police Department and the Sheriff’s department, to be unable to directly communicate with each other. It is very difficult to bring significant change to an organization from within the organization. Though voters have two talented candidates for Sheriff, we believe that Jim Napolitano is better prepared to bring the changes needed to the Sheriff’s department. Jim is the outsider in this race with a wealth of experience to truly shake up the Sheriff’s office, and the leadership capabilities to guide the office into a new era of effective law enforcement.
Jim Napolitano is the current Chief of Police for the City of Montgomery. He also runs Universal Safety and Security Solutions Inc., a security firm serving everything from oil and gas companies to government and churches. Prior to this, Mr. Napolitano spent 23 years in the United States Secret Service, serving both Bush Presidents as well as President Clinton. Under George W. Bush, Mr. Napolitano was the Resident Agent in Charge of the Waco office, which included leading the security detail at the president’s Crawford ranch, otherwise known as the “Western White House.” In this position, he was responsible for leading hundreds of other agents and arranging staff, military assets, and other governmental entities. The other accomplishments on his extensive resume include:
- He was the Global Security Manager for Marathon Oil, where he traveled all over the Middle East protecting the company and their assets.
- He was selected to work on a task force headed up by the CIA alongside the DEA investigating counterfeit notes in the Middle East. His work helped to take down the counterfeit operations of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaida.
- He was the 160th agent to ever become a member of the Counter Assault Team under the Presidential Protection Division of the Secret Service, which included training with the Tier 1 Special Operations Forces.
- He was assigned as the Rescue Swimmer for the First Families of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton.
- At the U.S. Secret Service Training Academy he taught Control Tactics and Rescue Swimming, was the program manager in Water Safety and Emergency Medicine, and directed courses for Special Agents.
- As part of the Houston Field Office for the Secret Service, he led many notable cases, including the arrest and conviction of the Aryan Brotherhood leader, “Sandman,” a criminal involved in counterfeit, drugs, and child pornography.
- As part of the Secret Service he would work as many as 25 cases at a time and maintained a 100% conviction rate.
- Prior to the Secret Service, he served in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office where he worked as a full time reserve officer (40 hours per week) for free before being hired as a full-time paid deputy. After becoming a patrol deputy, he also worked in the Detective Division, and was promoted to Sergeant.
- Prior to his career in law enforcement, he was a Mechanical Engineer in the oil and gas industry.
Mr. Napolitano says that currently, the Sheriff’s Office is not effectively fulfilling its role. He says that morale in the department is low, there is not enough manpower, training is insufficient and case completion is sometimes questionable. He ranks the three biggest challenges facing the department as:
- Population growth. Mr. Napolitano says a growing county means increased problems for law enforcement. He says that with today’s threats, he was to train the department to be proactive, yet capable of any terroristic threats and mass-casualty events, as well as threats against our economy and way of life. He says that deputies need to be trained not to overreact, so that criminals don’t get through the lines in other parts of the county as everyone is flocking to the same crime scene in another part of the county. He says the workforce in the department needs more training in annual firearms qualifications and continuing education courses. He says he would like to change the mindset of the department to one that is aware, prepared, and tactically ready for the unthinkable. He says he will address this through additional training and by working together with other law enforcement entities. He says that currently, the office only has one officer on the Joint Terrorism Task Force with the FBI, and he would like to increase that.
- Strategic planning for the entire county. Mr. Napolitano says that currently there is not much of a plan to address growth in the county, and he would like to work with county leaders to have a plan for 5, 10, and 20 years into the future, such as he accomplished for Marathon Oil and the City of Montgomery. This plan would include solving the problems of our antiquated jail and improving overall staffing so that the department can concurrently answer calls, patrol the streets, investigate and solve crimes, conduct training and educational opportunities while allowing staff time off by looking for budget efficiencies. He would also like to employ more innovative ways to manage employee schedules to allow for more staffing coverage.
- Changing the attitude and direction of the office. Mr. Napolitano says he wants to bring a positive attitude to the office, where employees can come to work and concentrate on doing their best at their jobs, and not worry about being micro-managed with the threat of losing their jobs on a daily basis. He says he wants to work with all employees to get a better understanding of what they need to get the job done correctly, efficiently, professionally and with a good attitude. He also says the office needs a fair and impartial promotion process and a fair process for jail deputies transferring to patrol.
Mr. Napolitano is known for his hands-on management style. He is the type of leader that works for his deputies, not over them; he'll be out on the front lines, too, alongside his men. As Chief of Police, he has managed his department by challenging and giving ownership to the officers that report to him. This has improved the department in morale, productivity, and community outreach. He has put in place a policy that requires his officers to make 10 friendly contacts per day with citizens, believing that officers should be retrained to interact with the public differently so as to break down barriers between law enforcement and the public. He says that as Sheriff, he will have quarterly meetings with Sergeants, as they are the first supervisors over their deputies and can best communicate their needs as a whole. He also says that currently, the taxpayers do not know what they are getting for their money in law enforcement. He says he will change this by conducting presentations at commissioners’ court like he currently does at Montgomery City Council. He claims his biggest strength is being able to identify strengths in others so he can gather, promote, and lead.
Mr. Napolitano obviously has a passion for law enforcement which has led him to succeed in so many areas. His 30 years of experience working in many capacities with many different agencies gives him a broad perspective of which law enforcement methods, management styles, and philosophies are useful. His especially unique outlook with regards to terrorism and active shooter situations can help the department prepare for these threats. We believe that Mr. Napolitano will bring the type of leadership to the office that no one else can – leadership that improves morale, prepares the department for the unthinkable, and creates a better relationship with the citizens of the county.
Mr. Napolitano is endorsed by the Texas Fraternal Order of Police, UDT/Gulf Coast SEAL Team Association, Former Commander of Delta Force Col. Bernard McCabe, and Chuck Norris.
Rand Henderson currently serves as the Patrol Captain for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, where he has worked for the past 21 years. Starting his career as a patrol deputy, Mr. Henderson quickly earned his way up the ranks by becoming the youngest ever Administrative Lieutenant, then District Commander, then Captain. He also worked for three years in Internal Affairs and graduated from the FBI national academy.
Mr. Henderson says the Sheriff’s department is currently fulfilling its role effectively by providing safety and security to the population with a markedly understaffed agency. He says the office works to make the department as efficient as possible. For example, the department is taking steps to increase efficiency by launching new software technology that will allow them to perform crime analysis at a new level alongside other law enforcement agencies, which will eliminate jurisdictional barriers to cooperation. Mr. Henderson ranks the three biggest challenges facing the department as:
- Population growth. Mr. Henderson says that as population increases, service requests will increase. This will increase the burden not just on the major divisions, but also on all the others that work behind the scenes to keep the front line divisions operating.
- Cost of Technology. Mr. Henderson says that as their technology systems age, the cost to acquiring new technology will be difficult and costly to manage. He says this can be solved with strategic planning to make sure employees have the tools they need.
- Relationships with other agencies. Mr. Henderson says he will make it his goal to create and foster relationships with other law enforcement agencies, the county and district attorney’s offices, as well as the public. He says the county needs bilateral information flow and crime analysis across jurisdictional boundaries. He says that currently, the office has a command and control operational model which relies heavily on chain of command. He would like to flatten this structure to develop a decentralized, modern community policing model.
Mr. Henderson says that from being immersed in the office for so long, he knows its history and culture better than anyone. There is no doubt that because of Mr. Henderson’s extensive career in the Sheriff’s Office, he knows the inner workings of the department and would be well suited to manage it. He is a smart man with an administrator’s personality who speaks intelligently of his job. The problem Mr. Henderson faces in this election is making the case that as Sheriff, the department would make a significant step toward becoming more proactive and implementing the positive changes that are needed. It is difficult to change a system from within, and significant change is needed in the Sheriff’s department.
In our conversations with various law enforcement officers, we have found a desire for new energy to combat the persistent low morale. Both Mr. Henderson and Mr. Napolitano identify problems within the department and lay out ideas toward solving them. However, we believe that Mr. Henderson has not made an adequate case for his candidacy to those who want to see the department have new life. While we respect Mr. Henderson and believe he would make a fine Sheriff, Mr. Napolitano has a proven record of bold leadership which we have more confidence would not only provide for our law enforcement needs, but also reinvigorate the office with fresh leadership benefiting from an outsider’s perspective. Mr. Napolitano also brings diversity of experience to the table, which is something Mr. Henderson is lacking outside of the Sheriff’s Office. This experience will be critical as the county becomes more urban and is faced with challenges the county has never encountered in the future. We believe that Mr. Napolitano’s federal experience may especially be helpful for reasons Mr. Henderson himself identified when he told us that information from the federal law enforcement agencies does not flow back to the local level; Mr. Napolitano says that people are misinformed to believe that, and that federal information is acquirable as long as you know how to acquire it.
Mr. Henderson is endorsed by: current Sheriff Tommy Gage; Sheriff Richard Mack of Graham County, Arizona, who is also the founder of the Constitutional Sheriff and Police Officer Association; the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas; the Conroe Professional Firefighters Association; The Woodlands Fire Department; and the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Association.