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By Laura Landsbaum

Each month leading up to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary celebration, content is created to honor the past, present and future of our community. For the month of May, public safety will be highlighted. 

While The Woodlands is set to celebrate its 50th anniversary this October, The Montgomery County Sheriff’s office has existed for more than 187 years. It dates all the way back to the founding of the county in 1837, and the county’s first sheriff was Joshua Robbins.

Law enforcement has changed greatly since the days of Sheriff Robbins’ wild west. To police Montgomery County, the sheriff’s office currently has 1,030 employees, about 700 of which are law enforcement officers. 

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Full Range of Services

The sheriff’s office has major divisions that align toward a strategic plan, including homicide, violent crime, narcotics, auto theft and other investigative specialties. The office also includes a Homeland Security division, and a K-9 unit that falls under that division.

One of the biggest functions is maintaining the county jail, which holds 1,253 inmates. Satellite facilities are also located throughout the county, which saves deputies time by booking inmates locally instead of having to drive to Conroe.

Dispatch services are provided by the sheriff’s office as well, and The Woodlands call center is the largest in the county.

“We answer for fire, police and EMS services,” Sheriff Rand Henderson says. “We take all the 911 calls and the non-emergency line calls, and then we have telecommunicators that dispatch the calls to law enforcement. If it’s an EMS or fire call that has nothing to do with law enforcement, those are transferred to their respective call centers.”

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office provides a lot of services to the community. (Courtesy Montgomery County Sheriff's Office).
 Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office has programs that are less well known too.

“Citizen Academy is a really good program that started in 1998,” Henderson says. “We conduct a 13-week Citizen Academy twice a year to teach regular residents and business owners what we do and why we do it.”

In addition to the Citizen Academy, vacation check has become a very popular service. A resident can notify the sheriff’s office if they are going out of town for a week or two. The sheriff’s office will check the home to make sure everything is safe and secure when possible. This also helps the patrol division visit some of the less traveled roadways.

Another innovative way the sheriff’s office provides information locally is through its app, which was developed in 2017. The app provides news alerts, the ability to check for warrants and booking information. It even has local weather alerts.

The Woodlands’ Community Orientated Policing Approach

As The Woodlands community has grown, new public safety programs have been developed to enhance law enforcement and meet the residents’ needs. One of the ways the sheriff’s office does that effectively is through a Community Oriented Policing approach.

“The Woodlands has had deputies since the 1980s,” Henderson says. “We added six or eight new deputies this year to the contract, so we’re at about 100 or so.”

Community needs may have changed since Montgomery County residents called on Sheriff Robbins back in the days of horse back, but safety is still priority one in The Woodlands. The Woodlands wins livability honors regularly — like being named the best community to live in 2021 and 2022 by Niche — for good reason.


Many thanks to The Woodlands 50th Anniversary Sponsors:

FOUNDING – Howard Hughes

PRODUCER – The Woodlands Township

LEGACY – Woodforest National Bank

HERITAGE – Waste Connections Inc.

GOLD – Entergy Texas, Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital

SILVER – SVN/JBeard Real Estate, The John Cooper School