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Harris County Police Captain Talks Katy Crime; How Residents Can Help


August 31, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Captain Donald Wine of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and a strong Katyite, including a proud Katy High School graduate, sat down exclusively with Katy Magazine to talk the state of Katy's crime. See how residents can help protect themselves and this great city.

Katy HS Graduate Proud to Serve his Community

Captain Donald Wine was raised in Katy, TX along with his twin brother and sister. Long before he rose through the ranks to be the West Region Patrol Bureau and District IV Commander for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, he was a normal Katy kid and graduated from Katy High School in 1982. From there he went on to serve in the military and has around 40 years of law enforcement experience.

Captain Wine remarks that there are few places where he used to hunt or run around open Katy fields that are now not taken up by residential communities, schools, or businesses. Katy continues to grow and looks very different to this 1982 Tiger grad, but like so many, he loves Katy and is deeply invested in the community’s safety.

Harris County Sheriff’s Office covers all unincorporated area in the West Region. It’s the third most populace county in the U.S.

Katy continues to grow in large numbers. The fact that Katy ISD just opened two new elementary schools, is activity building two new secondary schools, and is asking for more schools in the upcoming Bond election is further proof for this growth

Captain Donald Wine- West Region Patrol Bureau and District IV Commander

Is Katy Crime Really Up?

Growth means more people and crime. Lately, news and social media reports have shared many alarming stories of shootings, robberies, and juggings. But is Katy crime really on the rise?

“Violent crime in Harris County is down 4%,” says Captain Wine. “But 20-30 years ago, there wasn’t social media. There are more ways to share information now.”

According to Captain Wine, last year in Katy (area codes 77450, 77493, and 77494) there were several thousand calls of service in the area.

“Calls are up but not because crime is up,” says Captain Wine. “They are up because there are more people. The types of crimes that are up are crimes of opportunity because there is more traffic. Often times people committing crimes aren’t Katy residents but people passing through on busy areas like I-10 and Mason Road.”

From January 1- August 21 there were 28 reported weapons disturbances in the HCSO part of Katy.

“Now this could range from a shooting, a knife was pulled out, to a store clerk calling to say they felt someone had a gun because of a bulge in their clothing,” says Captain Wine. “There were 76 accounts of discharge of firearms.”

“I believe this number is way higher because at night in many areas of Katy you can hear gunfire,” says Captain Wine. “Often times this is people hog hunting or street racers firing out of their window.”

It isn’t against the law to discharge a firearm in unincorporated Harris County, but Captain Wine does feel that it morally not ok because that bullet will come down somewhere.

Many Crimes Aren’t Reported; Residents Need to Do Better

“I hear from people all the time say that they hear gunfire every night and I ask them if they are calling 911,” says Captain Wine.

Captain Wine does believe that social media is programming society to discuss crime amongst the community and not to call the police.

“People don’t call as much and I think they should,” says Captain Wine. “We do prioritize our calls so it may take us a while to get there, but we do care.”

In Elyson, recently there was a shooting at a neighborhood park. Residents took to their community Facebook page to talk about the gunfire, yet no one called 911. HCSO deputies weren’t aware of the situation until an individual showed up at a local ER with a gunshot wound.

“If you see something, say something,” says Captain Wine. “I’d rather have our deputies respond to a report of gunfire to find hog hunters than to not be there when someone is truly in danger.”

Contract Officers are the Epitome of Community Policing

As Katy continues to grow contract officers are playing a bigger role. These contracts with either HCSO or Precinct 5 are through HOA’s or MUD’s.

“In a city this big, contracts are the best way to get that personal relationship with your cop,” says Captain Wine. “It’s the epitome of community policing.”

Sheriff Emphasizes Quality of Life Issues to Prevent Crimes

“Sheriff Ed Gonzalez takes a great interest in this community,” says Captain Wine. “He actually means what he says and is putting a huge focus on quality of life issues. The goal is to help people before a crime is committed.”

Some of these programs include the Crisis Intervention, Mental Health, Groups Homes, and Homeless Outreach programs. HCSO is also working on a Telecop Program where residents can get online to fill out a report. This would free cops up to be out on the streets helping people more.

“You can’t gage how many crimes your stop because of presence,” says Captain Wine. “And this is what our officers truly want to be doing, to get out there and help this community.”

“We want people to know that when they need help, they can call the police. Law enforcement isn’t just about policing; it’s about being there when a kid is locked out of their home after school to helping a married couple work through their problems to finding a lost pet,” adds Captain Wine.

Don’t be a Victim

Another way Katy residents can help prevent crime is to focus on not being a victim. “You’d be amazed what people leave in their cars, while unlocked and even with keys in the ignition. Everyone should use some common sense,” says Captain wine.

Captain Wine urges residents to be alert when walking to their vehicles late at night.

“If you see a group of guys sitting in the parking lot drinking, go back inside and have a manager escort you to your vehicle,” advises Captain Wine. “They will do it. Always follow your instincts.”

“Those who do criminal activities are normally not who you think,” says Captain Wine. “It’s rarely the homeless community but rather the clean-cut teenage boy down the street with a drug problem.”

HCSO is seeing more cases of people just snapping because they are frustrated and hot. Captain Wine says that everyone needs to stay calm and focus on this great community and its people.

A True ‘Brotherhood’ of Agencies

Katy is served by many local police agencies. Read who serves you.

However, they all work together to help the community and it’s people.

“We share information with other local agencies such as Precinct 5, Katy Police Department, and Katy ISD Police Department,” says Captain Wine. “We integrate constables in taskforces to get information out quicker. We all know each other; it truly is a brotherhood.”

Katy Parents Need to Talk to their Children

Captain Wine also wants parents to step up to better educate students on the dangers around them.

“Talk to your kids about the dangers of strangers,” stresses Captain Wine. “The risks are still the same today than they were when we were growing up. The platforms have just changed.”

He served for years as a detective in the “Child Abuse Unit” and worked on internet crimes, seeing first-hand the dangers that kids are exposed to online.

“The internet is a big city,” says Captain Wine. “Giving your child full access is no different than dropping an 11-year-old off alone in Miami.”

Be Careful What You Post on Social Media

And according to Captain Wine, Katy residents need to be more careful on what they say of social media. Don’t share to all to see that you are out of town. Don’t complain about how a job is keeping you from being a home when you kids arrive to an empty house.

“Many families have both parents out working, but that doesn’t mean that parents shouldn’t know where their kids are and what they are doing at all times,” says Captain Wine. “Parents to have a strong relationship with their children. Don’t let your kids be more afraid of you than someone at a party.”

As Katy keeps growing so does the traffic. Speeding and distracted driving deaths are always on the rise and completely preventable. Captain Wine urges Katy residents to slow down and focus when out on the roads.

Take Responsibility for Your Katy

Katy’s growth comes with many great new amenities and opportunities, but crime also follows growth along with the rise in population. Captain Wine loves Katy and wants people to trust the police and take responsibility for keeping this community great.

“If you don’t report it, we don’t know about it,” says Captain Wine. “Your police are here and we do care.”


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