Following the tragic massacre at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, and the shooting of Deputy Justin Gay, we asked Harris County Precinct 4 Constable, Mark Herman how our community could be protected against shooters, and what added precautions our police are taking.
On November 3, 2017, Deputy Gay was attempting to detain a suspect involved in a domestic disturbance. During the struggle, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot Deputy Gay seven times in the legs. He suffered extensive injuries in both legs, which will require multiple surgeries and months of physical rehabilitation. His shooter, 38 year old Houston resident Constantine Argyrion, has been charged with attempted capital murder.
On November 5, a hate-fueled mass murderer interrupted Sunday morning worship in Sutherland Springs, killing 26 people, including an unborn baby. Many others were injured.
The following is our interview with Constable Herman:
1. In light of the recent church shooting, what are some ways you are advising Texas churches to protect themselves?
Many of the churches in our area have hired off-duty police officers to work as security. Extra precautions have and will be taken. We certainly want everyone to pay closer attention to what is going on around them. If you see something, say something.
2. Is your precinct doing anything differently to protect citizens and local churches against shooters?
There are things we have done and are implementing in the ever changing police environment. We are taking extra precautions in our area near churches. However, we do not want to publicize details. The criminals do not need to know.
3. Are you taking any steps to protect or further arm your officers should they be required to engage a shooter like Kelley?
Since taking over as the Precinct 4 Constable, I have invested close to $3 million to put the best safety equipment and tools on the streets with our patrol deputies. These include best on the market ballistic vests, tasers, vehicles, and AR-15 Rifles.
In many situations involving police shootings, such as in Dallas, the police were out-gunned. I recently invested $40,000 on forty AR-15 rifles. These rifles are currently protecting the streets of North Harris County. I actually have more that that already in service.
When asked by news reporters how many AR-15 rifles I have on the street, I always give the same answer, “More than I can shoot at one time.” Again, the criminals do not need to know this information.
We at the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office have many police initiatives underway from day to day. I am of the opinion that you can never stop all crime, however, we can control it. I have close to 500 Certified Police Officers in Precinct 4 that I am proud to work with. I can tell you, we make a significant impact on crime.
If you get a chance, go to our website at www.ConstablePCT4.com. Scroll down to our Facebook page and you will see what I mean. And don’t think for a moment that criminals do not monitor our Facebook page, because they do. Because of our high level of visibility, criminals choose not to come into our jurisdiction for their crimes.
4. How is Deputy Justin Gay doing?
Deputy Gay is still in ICU and getting better. I went to see him yesterday, along with Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. He was happy to see us. We hope to get him release this weekend.
BBQ Fundraiser Benefiting Deputy Justin Gay
Wednesday, December 6, 11AM – 2PM
The Enchanted Cypress Ballroom
12603 Louetta Road, Cypress, Texas, 77429