Fort Bend County Regional SWAT Obtains New Vehicle

5 02 2012

The following item is an article that was published online by yoursugarlandnews.com on February 2, 2012.  It provides good information about an effort over the last two years to build a Fort Bend County team of law enforcement officers capable of responding to high-risk situations.  It is important to note that the “Fort Bend County team” is a multi-agency collaborative effort involving the cities of Missouri City, Rosenberg, Stafford, Sugar Land and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office.  Danny Jan, Captain in the Sheriff’s Office, has been integral part in facilitating meetings and getting all the agencies to come together to form the team.  The Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management has played a key role in the development of the grant applications required to fund the team’s formation.  By using Urban Area Securities Initiative (UASI) monies, the Fort Bend County Regional SWAT effort is able to be deployed anywhere in the five-county Houston Urban Area should a need arise.  The article below provides more information about the team and the new vehicle it has just recently received:

Leaders of the Fort Bend Regional SWAT Team are shown with the team's new Bearcat. They include, from the left, Capt. Scott Soland, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office and West Division Commander; Sgt. Wayne Coleman, Sugar Land Police Department, East Division; Sgt. Kurt Maxheimer, Missouri City Police Department, East Division; Sgt. Brian Baker, Rosenberg Police Department, West Division; Sgt. Patrick Herman, Stafford Police Department; Capt. James Davis, Sugar Land Police Department and East Division Commander; and Sgt. Reggie Powell, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, West Division.

Fort Bend County’s new tactical, armored response and rescue vehicle is expected to enhance the safety of SWAT officers throughout the region.

Known simply as the Bearcat, the newly realigned Fort Bend Regional SWAT Team will utilize the vehicle for deployments throughout the county. The Bearcat, which carries up to 10 people, can traverse a variety of terrain. The vehicle has been utilized by police for barricaded situations, high-risk warrants, active shooters, dignitary transport and more. The Bearcat has proven itself in the field as an invaluable resource in high-risk situations, most recently in Tyler, Texas, where a SWAT team last year approached a kidnapping and murder suspect who was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.

Excerpts from a PoliceOne.com article follow:

The officers were investigating the house of Howard Granger, a suspect in the murder of Benjamin Gill Clements – the son of a former Texas governor. The suspect fired 35 rounds at the Bearcat before a sniper brought him down.  “It allowed officers to approach the residence safely and protected them under heavy fire from a very high-powered rifle,” said Tyler PD SWAT Commander Rusty Jacks, noting the vehicle saved lives and prevented injury to SWAT officers.

Fort Bend County purchased its Bearcat with an Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) grant provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Homeland Security Grant Program.  According to FEMA, the UASI Program provides funding to address the unique planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas and assists them in building an enhanced and sustainable capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism. Per the 9/11 Act, states are required to ensure that at least 25 percent of UASI appropriated funds are dedicated towards law enforcement terrorism prevention activities.

The Fort Bend Regional SWAT team is comprised of an east division staffed by the Missouri City, Sugar Land and Stafford Police Departments and a west division comprised of the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and the Rosenberg Police Department.  The effort through the five agencies here is also a component of a higher security push in the Greater Houston area with other law enforcement agencies.

The objective of the regional team is to:  1) allow for the integration of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure; 2) enable a coordinated response among various jurisdictions; and 3) establish common processes for planning and managing resources.

The acquisition of the new Bearcat is one example that illustrates a year-long effort by law enforcement agencies throughout the county to collaborate more closely on regional partnerships, especially in the area of SWAT response.





Blood Drives Scheduled For Critically Injured Fort Bend County Deputy

28 12 2010

The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office is holding a blood drive for Deputy John Norsworthy from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 29, at the Sheriff’s Office, 1410 Williams Way Blvd. in Richmond.  Norsworthy was in a serious car accident while on duty last night, and remains in critical condition.

He has already used approximately 48-units of blood and doctors are having a difficult time finding the source of his bleeding.   Fort Bend County Road & Bridge is having a Blood Drive today from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at 201 Payne Lane, Richmond, just off of F.M. 762.  For more information on that drive, call 281-342-4513.

Anyone 17 years of age and older is asked to help support Norsworthy. Norsworthy’s blood type is O – but it doesn’t matter what blood type the donor is.  Anyone and everyone that can are asked to donate.  If you donate blook at any other location than the ones discussed in this article, please provide them with John Norsworthy’s date of birth of 5/17/1971 so he can receive credit for the donation.

The accident occurred around 7 p.m. Monday at FM 762 at Benton Road. According to reports from the scene, Norsworthy was trapped beneath his overturned patrol cars. Richmond firefighters used inflatable rescue bags to lift the car off the deputy Norsworthy was flighted to Memorial Hermann in the Medical Center where he remains in serious condition with head injuries and internal bleeding.  

As of early this morning he was responding to medications and is undergoing a second surgery for the bleeding.

Anyone can help by donating blood under his name at any Gulf Coast Blood Center (plus his date of birth noted above).

Deputy Norsworthy started with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office in November 2008.  Prior to working at the County,  he was a Patrol Officer for Rosenberg Police Department.  He has a wife, Melissa, and two kids, Katie and Jacob.





Rosenberg Police Department Participating In National Night Out

24 09 2010

As reported by the FortBendNow Staff on Friday, September 24, 2010:

Public safety officers from the Rosenberg Police and Fire Departments will join residents, city officials and members of Fort Bend County EMS and Life Flight to celebrate National Night Out – America’s Night Out Against Crime – on Oct. 5.

Communities across Texas will join forces for the 27th annual crime and drug prevention event. National Night Out is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch and the Rosenberg Police Department. This year’s event is also being supported in part by Target, a national corporate sponsor.

NNO was organized by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984. The evening is designed to: heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime effort; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. Last year’s event involved 36.7 million people in 14,625 communities from all 50 states.

From 7 p.m., residents in neighborhoods throughout Rosenberg are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.

“This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity. National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation,” said National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin. “On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us in giving crime and drugs a going away party.”

Rosenberg’s National Night Out will include neighborhood block parties throughout the city, and a business merchants event at Brazos Town Center. Individuals interested in organizing or hosting a neighborhood block party should contact RPD at 832-595-3710 and ask to speak with Lt. Slater.

The merchants event will be held in the Target parking lot. Life Flight, Fort Bend County EMS, the Rosenberg Fire Department, and the Rosenberg Police Department will be out in force to give demonstrations and tours of equipment and to visit with Rosenberg residents and merchants.

The event at Brazos Town Center will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until dark. The night will include demonstrations with the RPD canine unit, tours of the Rosenberg Fire Department’s Fire Safety House, and other children’s activities. Many Brazos Town Center merchants will have goodies for the crowd to enjoy.

“The main objective of the business merchants portion of the Rosenberg National Night Out activities is to encourage merchants to meet one another and generate discussions and relationships, through which they can share important information about crime prevention and risk abatement,” said Lt. Colin Davidson with the Rosenberg Police Department.

For more information on National Night Out, visit http://www.nationalnightout.org. For information on the Rosenberg event, please contact the Rosenberg Police Department at 832-595-3710.





Lamar CISD Schools Complete Successful Tornado Drill

11 02 2010

As a follow-up to my last blog entry about Lamar Consolidated ISD’s emergency preparedness efforts, below you will find an article that was printed in the Fort Bend Herald on February 9, 2010.  The article was written by Juan Carlos Reyes.

Although the weather was calm, there was a tornado-like atmosphere in Lamar CISD schools Monday, particularly those along Mustang Drive in Rosenberg.  “Toto, go back to Kansas,” were the code words coming from Lamar CHS Principal Michael Milstead, letting the students know it was a tornado drill.

One of the reasons for the districtwide drill was to determine the response times at each campus, said Christy Willman, Executive Director of Community Relations.  Once the drill was completed, each campus was required to e-mail the completion time to district headquarters.

The LCISD schools that participated are all located on Mustang Drive, including Lamar Consolidated High School, Lamar Junior High, Wessendorff Middle School and Smith Elementary School — faced additional scenarios during the drill.  “The district had a similar drill a week and a half ago”, said Lamar CHS secretary Dora Piñeda.

“We had different signs instructing students where to go last time,” Piñeda said. “It was a little confusing last time, and it took longer to organize the kids.”  This time, the students from all portable buildings, as well as the students inside, were lined up as students calmly made it down the hall, sat down facing the wall and had their arms covered on their head.

Attending the drill was Danny Jan, with the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. He called the drill a learning experience.  Tianay Geathers, a paraprofessional with Lamar CHS, called the drill a success.  “The kids were great,” Geathers said. “We know that we needed to prepare in case it happens, and I think we are.”





Work Begins on New EMS Building in Rosenberg

14 01 2010

The article below was written by Don Munsch and appeared in the January 13, 2010 edition of the Fort Bend Herald.

Ground work is in progress on the new county Emergency Medical Service building on Highway 36 in Rosenberg.  The building, which will have just under 15,000 square feet, will be constructed behind the current building.  “We will have our own training classroom in there, which this building had originally, but as we continued to expand, that (space) was taken up by the billing office, and our training has been done off-site,” said Daniel Kosler, director of Emergency Medical Service for Fort Bend County.

With the new building, EMS will be able to house all of its vehicles, including its regional response trailers. EMS administrative offices will be in the new building once the construction is done.  “Pretty much what we have here will be just moving over there, except for the billing office,” Kosler said. “The billing (department) is a part of the treasurer’s office now, so they will stay here until the justice complex is completed and that will free up room in the William B. Travis Building. At that time, it’s my understanding that there’s plans to move the billing office there.”

Kosler said once the building phase of the EMS project begins, it will be finished in eight months. He anticipates it will be completed in August or September.  “We’re ecstatic,” he said about moving into a new building. “Right now we have some people sharing offices, which were originally meant for one person. We’re ecstatic about being in a building that is safe. I’ve been told by a county engineer that’s no longer with the county that our gas canopy out here (behind the EMS building) is wind-rated higher than this building. So we will feel safe in that building. We won’t have to be concerned about relocating the staff during times of a potential hurricane strike.

 “We’re looking forward to this new facility,” he said. “It’s going to allow us to hold the medical supply inventory that’s currently housed out back here in a separate building. All of that will be under one roof.” 

The new building will have four dorm rooms, a conference room, offices and classrooms, among other rooms. The building will have bays for vehicles and storage space for the medical supplies.  “It’s our understanding that, at this point anyway, this building would then be lowered or destroyed and an additional parking would be here,” he said. “But anything could change between now and then.”

The current building was constructed in 1985.  “It’s lasted us 24 years,” Kosler said. “Hopefully this one will last us a lot longer.





Opportunity for H1N1 Flu Vaccinations in Rosenberg

28 12 2009

Fort Bend County Health & Human Services encourages everyone to protect their families and friends by protecting themselves from H1N1 flu.

“By preventing your own illness, you also protect your loved ones from catching the flu from you,” said Dr. Jean Galloway, director of Fort Bend County Health & Human Services.

H1N1 vaccinations are free to anyone over 6 months of age at any of the scheduled clinics. As more people guard themselves against the flu by getting vaccinated, fewer school and work days will be lost due to illness.

“The more people get their H1N1 vaccinations, the less likely it is that we will have a serious winter wave of flu illness,” said Galloway.

County HHS will be providing vaccinations at the County’s Rosenberg Annex Building, 4520 Reading Road, Rosenberg on December 28, December 29, and December 30.  Times are 8:30 am to 12:00 noon, and also 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

For more information, contact David Wahome, the Public Information Specialist for Health and Human Services at 281-238-3551





Rosenberg Fire Department to Receive DHS Grant

13 03 2009

The Texas Government Insider (Friday, March 13, 2009) reports that the City of Rosenberg Fire Department is set to receive a grant totaling over $159,000 through the Department of Homeland Security as part of its Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.  The funding will help ensure first responders at the fire department will have access to necessary resources.