Houston Police Department
Special Operations - Plain Clothes & Civility Units


Units: Bike Patrol | City Hall Detail | Mobility Unit | Mounted Patrol | Plain Clothes Detail | Patrol | Special Events Unit | Special Response Group

Photo Galleries: Bike Patrol | Mounted Patrol | Special Events | Special Response Group


The Plain-Clothes unit consists of one sergeant and two officers and the Civility Unit consists of one sergeant and three officers. The plain-clothes unit’s primary function is to identify crime trends and implement a plan to curb the illegal activity. The unit conducts stings, surveillance, and proactive enforcement of the laws. The plain-clothes unit focuses on auto thefts and burglary of motor vehicles in the downtown area. There are thousands of cars in the area daily that present numerous opportunities for thieves.

The unit also targets parking lot attendant impersonators. There are numerous people that pretend to work for a parking lot company daily. Typically, this occurs when there is an event downtown such as a ball game. Much of the time, the impersonator is a homeless person. The plain-clothes unit works closely with the Civility Unit. The Civility Unit is the liaison between the Central Business District and the Houston Police Department and has a two- fold mission of law enforcement and outreach. The unit targets illegal activity by homeless persons, but also attempts to gain shelter and stability for the homeless. The plain-clothes unit also targets aggressive panhandlers. Again, the panhandlers are typically homeless and this will involve the Civility Unit. The above crimes may seem petty, but they are not. Unknowingly paying fifteen dollars to a bogus parking attendant who directs you to park in an unauthorized location is unfortunate, but finding that your car has been towed, because it was illegally parked is very serious. The impersonator is gone, your car is gone and you just paid approximately one hundred and fifty dollars to park at the game. The Civility and Plain Clothes Units perform an important function that saves citizens countless dollars and officers numerous reports.