Houston, TX Police Department Honored for Excellence in Environmental Crimes Enforcement and Education


October 2, 2012 Meredith Ward



Alexandria, VA: The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) today presented The Dave Cameron Award to the Houston Texas Police Department, Major Offenders’ Environmental Investigations Unit for their work to identify and prosecute the individuals and corporation responsible for illegally dumping 400,000 gallons of hazardous waste at 14 different locations in Harris County. The award, sponsored by the IACP’s Environmental Crimes Committee, recognizes excellence in environmental crimes enforcement and education by law enforcement officers and their agencies.

Houston Police Department will be officially recognized at IACP’s 119th Annual Conference and Exposition, San Diego California, September 29 to October 3, 2012.

In April of 2011, a major hazardous materials dumping case investigation was initiated by the Houston Police after a report of thousands of gallons of waste that had been dumped into a storm water catch basin.  Samples were recovered and analyzed and the evidence determined the waste stream was consistent with waste generated by a bio-diesel manufacturing facility. Two detention ponds had also been contaminated with similar waste, which resulted in “fish kills” in both ponds and required major remediation efforts.  Other dump sites were discovered near elementary schools.

An interagency task force was formed and conducted stationary and rolling surveillance of potential dumpsites and analyzed evidence to identify a potential suspect in the case, which resulted in the suspect being caught dumping waste on the night May 1, 2011.  He was using a semi-truck and 9000 gallon tanker trailer to illegally haul the hazardous materials.  To date the costs to remediate the dump sites has cost tax payers over $2.5 million dollars.  The suspect in this case had prior convictions for environmental violations and child murder.

The interagency multi-discipline task force that came together to identify and arrest the suspects in this case included the following City of Houston agencies: Houston Police Department – Major Offenders Division Environmental Investigations Unit and Traffic Enforcement Division Truck Enforcement Unit, the Greater Houston Regional Computer Forensic Lab, Houston Public Works and Engineering Department – Street & Drainage Division, Environmental Health Division – Health & Human Services and the Bureau of Consumer Health.  Other agencies outside of the City of Houston include: the City of Walker Police Department, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Harris County Precinct One – Environmental Investigations, Harris County Pollution Control Services Department, Sam Houston State University, Texas Commission of Environmental Quality – Remediation Division, A&B Laboratory Services, Prologis, HG Fire Systems, LP, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigations Division.

The award honors David Cameron, chief of police in Jackson, Wyoming, from 1992 until his untimely death in April 2001. Through his professionalism, dedication, and personality, Dave Cameron positively affected law enforcement worldwide while serving as chairman of the IACP Environmental Crimes Committee from 1992 to 2001 and member of the IACP Executive Committee from 1992 to 2001.

For more information on the Environmental Crimes Committee please click HERE.

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