After high school graduation, William J. Harness enlisted into our country’s military armed forces, U.S. Army. Upon completing his last tour of duty in Vietnam, he received an honorable discharge in 1968. Chief Harness began his law enforcement career as a police cadet at the Houston Police Academy in 1973. During his 20 year tenure with the Houston Police Department, he served as a field training officer, Police Academy instructor, patrol supervisor, and administrative command supervisor establishing police policies and procedures, assisting the development of many programs and overseeing budgets. In 1994, he retired from the Houston Police Department to accept a Captain of Police position with the Houston ISD Police Department. During his two year tenure, he established a strong presence of policing in an educational environment supervising the dispatch communications, community outreach, investigations, training and gang intervention units.
In May of 1996, he accepted the position of Chief of Police with Conroe ISD. Through his law enforcement experiences, education and training, Chief Harness established a policing in education culture providing quality prevention and intervention policing strategies. Through his leadership, Conroe ISD Police personnel established many community outreach programs, officer training, and special police tactical procedures including crisis intervention, mental health, emergency operations, special threat assessments, and responding to active shooter events.
In 1978 while working the night shift patrol, Chief Harness earned a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Houston. Several years later after coaching his two sons’ baseball and soccer teams, he earned a Master of Science degree from Sam Houston State University in 1992.
Throughout his law enforcement career, Chief Harness has served as President of Texas School District Police Chiefs Association, and the Executive Board of the Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Center. He is still an active member of several professional police organizations and continues to serve on local, state and national advisory committees.
During his law enforcement career, Chief Harness has instructed many training courses to police officers, as well as teaching high school and college courses to aspiring young students. Using his knowledge and experiences, he has presented and still presents workshops relating to topics dealing with safe community, safe schools and culture of policing in an educational environment.