Conroe, February 4 – Montgomery County celebrates Sheriff Rand Henderson’s historic appointment of Ken Culbreath, a 23-year veteran of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, to the position of Chief Deputy Sheriff. Culbreath is the highest ranking African-American in the history of the Montgomery County government.
Sheriff Henderson told The Golden Hammer, “Ken Culbreath is one of the greatest leaders of men and women that I have ever known. His ability to take a vision and convert it to a goal that is then successfully accomplished by a cohesive team is what separates him from all others. I have the ultimate faith and confidence in his abilities and I am proud to work with him in securing the safety of our community.”
Chief Deputy Culbreath holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston-Downtown and his high school diploma from M.B. Smiley High School. He possess several Texas Commission on Law Enforcement licenses: Master Peace Officer, Instructor Proficiency Certificate and Firearm Instructor. He is a graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas through Sam Houston State University. He has also earned the honor of Distinguished Graduate from the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute in Nevada and has completed multiple executive level law enforcement management classes through the Southern Police Institute (University of Louisville). He’s a graduate of the FBI’s National Law Enforcement Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Culbreath is a longtime resident of Montgomery County. His law enforcement career began in 1994 with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). During his tenure he’s held several positions within the Sheriff’s Office including Jail Deputy, Patrol Deputy, Undercover Narcotics Investigator, Detective, Internal Affairs Sergeant and Detective Sergeant. He held a leadership position on the SWAT team for over 15 years. In 2007, he assisted Sheriff Tommy Gage with creating Montgomery County’s first full time SWAT Team. Sheriff Gage assigned Culbreath to serve as the Sergeant /Team Leader.
From there, Sheriff Gage promoted Culbreath to Lieutenant over the Training Academy and worked as the Training Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator under the command of Captain Rand Henderson (now Sheriff). The Training Academy was responsible for training over 2500 license holders. Together, Culbreath and Henderson implemented one of the first online learning management systems for law enforcement professionals in the State of Texas.
Chief Deputy Culbreath has received several awards during his career. In 2007, the United States House of Representatives awarded him a Public Safety Hero’s Award. The Woodlands Township also recognized Culbreath as a Public Safety Hero. In 2008, Culbreath received recognition as the 100 Club Officer of the Year and in the same year a Combat Cross from Sheriff Tommy Gage. MCSO awards the Combat Cross to a deputy for an individual act of heroism with imminent personal hazard of life in combat with an armed adversary.
Culbreath has explained that the team that Henderson and he have assembled to manage the MCSO is not a command team but a leadership team. “Law enforcement organizations are traditionally paramilitary with a command-and-control methodology of management,” Culbreath noted.
“We are trying to flatten out the leadership team to hear from everybody within our organization, both at the tactical and crime strategies and efficiencies levels. We want to run the Sheriff’s Office the way a team functions, so that guys below ranks can influence decisionmaking. In a command structure, decisions come from the commander,” Culbreath stated.
The Golden Hammer asked whether he and Sheriff Henderson are modeling the MCSO management methods after network centric warfare methods that the United States military began to adopt as part of the ongoing “revolution in military affairs.” Culbreath said, “That’s precisely right.”
Culbreath said he loves his new job, because Sheriff Henderson’s leadership team “is the most balanced, educated, and trained that we’ve ever had the Sheriff’s Office. 12 of us have college degrees. One person is an attorney. Everyone has had advanced leadership training.”
Culbreath explained that his grandmother, who has passed, was the most influential person in his life. “She was my rock and I still regard her that way. She introduced me to Christ, taught me how to treat a lady, taught me to stay on the straight and narrow and finish my college degree, and corrected me when I got off path.”
Billy Jordan, Sergeant over the Bailiff Division, added, “What people should also know is the great friend Ken has been to so many, especially me.”
Citizens within our community should celebrate Culbreath’s becoming the Chief Deputy Sheriff on January 1, 2017. Ken Culbreath clearly deserved the promotion based upon his outstanding background, qualifications, and leadership. That his race made no difference whatsoever to Sheriff Henderson’s decision is a credit to our entire community. Most certainly, Ken Culbreath is the best man for the job of Chief Deputy Sheriff, especially for his sharp wit, great leadership skills, and kind heart.