More About April Showers in Southeast Texas

22 04 2015

The National Weather Service issued a Public Information Statement this afternoon indicating that Southeast Texas has experienced above normal rainfall through April 19th of this year.  The month of April has been wetter than a normal month across this region.  Though we have experienced rain from time to time all month long, a bulk of the rainfall, according to the National Weather Service, has fallen since April 10th.  One of the rain gauges used by the National Weather Service is located at Sugar Land Regional Airport.  So far in April, that gauge has measured 8.67 inches of rain. The year-to-date total for the gauge at the airport is 17.85 inches; or an amount that is over 5 inches above normal.  It is too early to know if this trend will continue through the year and provide more consistent rain to Fort Bend County.





Fort Bend among top counties for job growth

21 08 2012

Olivia Pusinelli wrote the following article which was published by the Houston Business Journal on Tuesday, August 21st.  The article provides an overview of a new CNN Money survey which ranks a total of 25 U.S. Counties based on job opportunities and quality of life.

Fort Bend and Montgomery counties have made CNN Money’s “Where the jobs are” list.  With 78.1 percent job growth between 2000 and 2011, Fort Bend County comes in at No. 2 out of the 25 counties on the list. CNN Money notes that a favorable tax structure, strong school system and proximity to Houston help attract businesses such as Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR), Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) and CVR Energy Inc. (NYSE: CVI).

Montgomery County ranks No. 4 with 63.5 percent job growth. CNN Money cites expansions at Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) as evidence of opportunities in The Woodlands area. Exxon’s 385-acre corporate campus south of The Woodlands is expected to have 10,000 employees by 2015.

Other Texas counties also take top spots, with Williams County near Austin at No. 3 with 73.9 percent growth, Collin County near Dallas at No. 6 with 55.9 percent growth, and Denton County near Dallas at No. 7 with 53.4 percent growth.





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.





FEMA Welcomes The City Of Sugar Land, Texas To The Community Rating System

13 06 2010

From a June 11, 2010 FEMA News Release:

Residents and business owners in the City of Sugar Land can now enjoy a reduction in flood insurance premiums because of the city’s active participation in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). In addition to lower premiums, the CRS program helps to reduce the threat of damage due to flooding.

“The flood insurance program rewards communities for implementing programs and policies that protect their residents from flooding,” said Tony Russell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional administrator.  “City of Sugar Land’s higher regulatory standards, public education outreach, and other initiatives, have earned the city lower premiums as a CRS Class 7 Community.”

The City of Sugar Land’s flood insurance policyholders who reside in Special Flood Hazard Areas will receive a 15 percent reduction on flood insurance premiums and policyholders located outside Special Flood Hazard Areas will enjoy a 5 percent discount. The reduction in flood insurance premiums represents an annual savings in premium costs for Sugar Land policy holders and will take effect at the time a new policy is written or an effective policy is renewed.

New to CRS, the City of Sugar Land’s participation in the CRS has been beneficial in many respects.  In addition to the reduction in insurance premiums, the City of Sugar Land officials are more knowledgeable about floodplain management and its residents are more knowledgeable about mitigation and flood insurance.  

The program helped make the City of Sugar Land a safer place to live, reduced the economic impact of flood hazards and saved their citizens money on their flood policy premiums.

The community rating system (CRS) is a voluntary program for NFIP- participating communities.  The intended goals of the CRS are to reduce flood losses; facilitate accurate insurance ratings; and to promote the awareness of flood insurance.  For more information on the NFIP’s CRS program, go to www.fema.gov/business/nfip/crs.shtm.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.





Fire, Police and EMS Recognized by Sugar Land City Council

4 02 2010

The following item was published on The Police News web site on February 4, 2010:

Local public safety professionals were recognized for heroic efforts that saved the life of a man trapped in his vehicle.  Members of the Sugar Land Fire and Police Departments and Fort Bend County EMS extricated an unconscious man with a severe head wound and fractures on Oct. 25, 2009.
 
Their actions helped saved the man’s life and earned recognition from Sugar Land City Council and a Gold Pin Award from Holmatro USA, a company that designs and manufactures hydraulic life-saving tools.  The first to respond to the accident involving an 18-wheeler and a pickup truck was Sugar Land Police Officer Daniel Boykin, who crawled inside the passenger vehicle to check on the trapped driver. Boykin stabilized the man’s head and neck until fire and EMS arrived.
 
“The driver was trapped, unconscious, had severe bleeding from the head, obvious fractures, and did not respond to any stimulus,” said Sugar Land Fire Capt. Tom Anderson, who nominated the group for recognition.   Due to the precarious position the truck, firefighters worked together to stabilize the vehicle, while others attempted to remove the roof of the truck while perched atop a ladder extended from a fire truck.  Using a variety of extrication tools, the first-responders were able to safely remove the trapped man.  The driver was transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Medical Center where he was later listed in stable condition.

Pictured (L-R) during a recognition ceremony at Sugar Land City Hall are Fort Bend EMS Lt. Ron Dille, Fort Bend EMS paramedic Jessica Richmond and Fort Bend EMS paramedic Tamma Blair; SLFD firefighters Robert Danford, Randy Bayes and Donnie Tomlinson; SLFD Fire Chief Adame; SLFD firefighter Jeremy Brown; Mayor James Thompson; Sugar Land police officer Daniel Boykin; SLFD Battalion Chief Javier Crespo; and SLFD Lt. Craig Swinghammer.