Having youthful looks didn’t make Jeff Sneed’s job any easier when he was a rookie police officer for the Houston Police Department. Sneed went from high school in Pearland to earning his welding degree from San Jacinto College. By age 19 he worked as a jailer and then went on to the Police Academy where he graduated at 21.
“Being a rookie, I was assigned to the older blue police squad cars, whereas other officers had the new white vehicles,” said Sneed. “I patrolled southeast Houston and looked really young back then. When I would respond to calls, people would not believe I was an officer. They would tell me to leave until the ‘real police’ showed up.” Faced with an unconvinced audience, Sneed would call another unit to the scene.
In between getting his degree and preparing for law enforcement, Sneed learned team roping in North Texas at his uncle’s ranch. He bought and sold a horse at the same time.
A leader on the patrol
Going on 15 years with HPD and nine years with Westchase District Patrol, Sneed has settled in. He’s married with three children and works out with his oldest son who plays football in high school. Recently promoted to sergeant, Sneed is known by many now in the District community. His parents both worked at HPD. Sneed’s mother is a former HPD dispatcher and his late father retired after 36 years on the force.
“I enjoy the community policing approach we take,” said Sneed. “You really become familiar with people in apartment communities and businesses. That gives them an assurance about what we do.”
A member of the HPD Gang Division’s Crime Reduction Unit, his beat is citywide as murder rates in Houston have gone up. Sneed is also a member of a unit that works narcotics activities and violent crimes. “It’s proactive policing and involves special assignments including any felony crimes,” said Sneed.
From stakeout to scavenger hunt
“When I transition to Westchase District for my evening shift, it’s a nice break,” said Sneed. “There aren’t any gangs here and patrol work is not as intense. People in the community see us and appreciate our work. They are happy to see me when I stop by and check in.”
Sneed enjoys being there for activities like watching Quillian Center summer campers who took to the Westchase District Trail System for a scavenger hunt. He didn’t mind maintaining a watchful eye even after he had just completed an all-night shift keeping a murder suspect under surveillance. The case ended with a capture and arrest. Two hours later Sneed was escorting young kids off a bus onto the trail. The activity gave the campers an opportunity to meet an HPD officer.
When Sneed is off the clock, he enjoys spending time with his three kids. A family favorite is hitching up the camper and parking it at the beach.