Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Appoints Civilian to Oversee Texas’ Largest County Jail

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez

The Harris County Jail is now overseen by a non-law enforcement official as Sheriff Ed Gonzalez has appointed a veteran state jail inspector to the newly created post of Chief of Detentions.

Shannon Herklotz worked more than two decades for the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, most recently serving as Deputy Director for the agency tasked with ensuring that all 239 Texas jail facilities meet requirements.

His career honors include winning the Hall of Fame Award from the Texas Jail Association for his career of outstanding contributions to county corrections and the criminal justice system. Herklotz also won the Texas Jail Association’s President’s Award in 2019 for his strong support of the group’s work.

“Our search for a Chief of Detentions targeted someone with the experience, values and vision to achieve our goal of cementing the Harris County Jail’s reputation for safety, innovation and professionalism,” Sheriff Gonzalez said. “These are qualities that our team displayed while managing the ongoing pandemic, and I am excited to see the continued transformation of the Harris County Jail under Shannon Herklotz’s leadership.”

Chief Herklotz, who began his assignment on Monday, said he looks forward to the challenge.

“We take seriously our duty to ensure the care, custody, and control of every person living inside our jail,” Chief Herklotz said. “Keeping every person in the jail – including our staff and those entrusted into our care – safe and healthy is our first priority. But more than that, we are committed to making sure people leave our jail better prepared to make a positive contribution to our community by connecting them with the resources and support they need to do so.”

The Harris County Jail is the largest jail in Texas, and the third-largest in the nation, with a current population of just over 9,000.