In Memory of Corrections Officer James N. Henry
Texas has lost a large number of law enforcement officers in the past year. The state has had more losses in law enforcement due to COVID19 than any other state. That is why it is so tragic and heartbreaking for officials in Texas to continue to brief residents on these losses. On Friday, August 27, 2021, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office announced to residents that they had lost one of its veteran officers to the coronavirus.
Corrections Officer James N. Henry, age 42, died from complications that resulted from contracting COVID19. It is presumed that he was exposed while on duty at the Hays County Jail. Officer Henry had served with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office for over 22 years. He provided security and oversight at the jail in San Marcos, Texas. Henry, badge number 2854, was proud of his work with the department.
Many facilities that house inmates have been rampant with the coronavirus. There is a lack of available sanitation and room for social distancing. Corrections officers are in close contact with individuals brought in under arrest or even supervising inmates already in prison. The US has lost an excessive number of these officers. Texas has been hit especially hard in its department of corrections with many losses since the pandemic started.
Hays County Sheriff’s Office
Officer Henry chose to spend his entire career serving the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. The Republic of Texas initiated the post of sheriff in its constitution for every county in 1836. The state has 254 counties and just as many Sheriffs. The regulations noted that each county would have one sheriff, one coroner, and an adequate number of justices of the peace. It was a two-year term initially, but in 1954 it was changed to a four-year term.
Today the Hays County Sheriff’s Office provides a full array of law enforcement services for the community. Officers patrol an area 680 square miles out of the HCSO headquarters, located in San Marcos, Texas. HCSO protects life and property of more than 160,000 residents. The officers also provide security for the county courthouse, manage county correctional facilities, and provides community outreach programs to residents in need.
Corrections Officer James N. Henry leaves behind his wife and daughter. He also leaves behind extended family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Everyone whose life he touched will attempt to come together and memorably honor his sacrifice while continuing to try to protect themselves and their families from the virus.
The Hays County Law Enforcement Association or HCLEA was saddened by the news of the loss of Officer Henry. They shared their condolences on Facebook with residents and family. “Brothers and Sisters, our brother, Correction Officer James Henry, passed away today after his fight with COVID-19. Please take a moment and remember James. He marched to his own drummer, could make you laugh when you didn’t want to, and was someone who would always have your back. James joins our other brothers and sisters, who have passed before and now patrol Heaven. Please keep all of James’ family, friends, and coworkers in your thoughts and prayers. James, my brother, your shift here is done. We have the watch. Rest easy. You will never be forgotten.”
The Florida Police Chief’s Association included Officer Henry on their social media, posting condolences to the Henry family. Please keep the Family and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Corrections Officer James N. Henry, Hays County Sheriff’s Office (Texas), EOW August 27, 2021”