KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
January 12, 2021
By Natalie Cook Clark
New Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan announced a big change to how 911 calls will be responded to in Fort Bend County.
Sheriff Eric Fagan has changed how 911 calls will be responded to in Fort Bend County. In a press release from his office, Sheriff Fagan said many people felt the old policy put many lives at risk.
Previously, a 911 call made in the county would be dispatched to the nearest Fort Bend County deputy. Now, the nearest law enforcement agency will be notified to respond.
“Let’s work together; smarter, quicker, for the benefit of our community,” says Sheriff Eric Fagan. “I’ve got work to do.”
Decision Affects Multiple Agencies
The greater Katy area is home to several police agencies, and Fagan’s decision can affect neighboring law enforcement agencies.
“I don’t think it will affect how we serve the community,” says Fort Bend County Constable, Precinct 3 Chad Norvell. “Our deputies in neighborhoods will continue to focus their efforts in their assigned communities and will, of course, respond to nearby emergencies.”
Constable Norvell says that they were not informed in advance of any changes.
“Deputies assigned to given areas will not be responding to non-emergency, routine calls outside of their assigned patrol area,” explains Constable Norvell.
Currently, the Fort Bend County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3 is rebranding their Facebook page after the outgoing constable deleted the social media accounts.
“We have always used Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office to dispatch our calls,” says Captain Mike McCoy. “Our police department does not yet have our own dispatch system and relies on FBCSO to receive, handle, and then dispatch the call to us within our city limits.”
“We have also responded to calls just outside our city limits in emergency situations and would hold the scene until the county could arrive,” says Captain McCoy.
Residents Have Questions
The 911 announcement on the FBCSO Facebook page was met with a mixed response. One resident questioned if Simonton calls would be handled by the Fulshear Police Department, and also commented that the announcement wasn’t very informative.
“It is not a simple, one size fits all response,” replied a moderator for the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. “It will depend on the severity of the call, we may use a municipality agency for backup.”
The statement went on to explain that the county would respond if a crime had already been committed.
“If an incident is in progress, we may use another agency that is closer for backup or to assist,” explains the FBCSO Facebook page.