Major Mike Lee
The Mental Health and Jail Diversion Bureau is the newest bureau within the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and is the first of its kind at this level in the nation. The goal of the bureau is to work on all mental health and jail diversion related issues throughout the agency, from a strategic versus an operational level.
This new bureau is the liaison to the HCSO Mental Health Task force, liaison to the District Attorney’s Mental Health Unit, and liaison to the Harris County Jail Diversion Project. It also oversees the role on mental health screening/reentry services for the Harris County jail and provides a policy oversight role for the Harris Center mental health programs in corrections and law enforcement.
Leading the bureau is Major Mike Lee, whose innovative and forward thinking highlights great leadership. Major Lee has a Bachelor of Science degree in Government and History and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology. After serving the Houston Police Department honorably for 26 years and attaining the rank of Captain of Police, Major Lee’s dedication to excellence continues on with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Major Lee was one of the original members of the Crisis Intervention Team when it began in 1999 and was a member of the Hostage Negotiation Team for over 10 years. As a Commander, he managed Hobby and Ellington Airports and the Westside Patrol Division. From 2006-2013, Major Lee oversaw the development of the nation’s first Mental Health Division in a law enforcement agency and created law enforcement crisis response and jail diversion programs that have won national and international policing awards. He is considered one of the foremost experts in the area of law enforcement response to persons in crisis.
Major Lee serves on the Technical Advisory Board for the Recovery Center and is a Board Member for Mental Health America of Greater Houston.
During his career, Major Lee has received 46 commendations, including four Chief of Police commendations, and was named the 2009 Houston Police Department Mid-manager of the year. Major Lee conducted the research and drafted the proposal for the highly successful Houston Recovery Center which has diverted over 90% of all public intoxication arrests away from the City of Houston jail. Major Lee has drafted two legislative bills that were successfully passed in the 2013 Texas Legislature. One of these bills created a streamlined emergency apprehension notification form that is now used by all Texas police officers and the second bill created was the first ever process for removing firearms from persons who are being detained for a severe mental health crisis. Major Lee is a native Houstonian and lives in Kingwood with his wife of over twenty eight years, Suzan, and his two daughters, Madison and Morgan.