Sergeant Wayne Kuhlman
Sgt. Kuhlman grew up in Houston and says he was answering his calling in life, when he enrolled in the Harris County Sheriff's Academy in 1989. He has been answering that call ever since and has an extensive history within the Sheriff’s Office. When he first started out, he worked in the Detention Bureau, while volunteering in a ride along program. He later transferred to the Patrol Bureau until he was promoted to the rank of Detective in 1994. Since then he has worked in the Criminal Warrants Division, Child Abuse Division and Internal Affairs. The Sgt. has spent a combined twelve years in the homicide department.
Being a homicide detective "calls for full dedication, the ability to make decisions and take decisive actions.” In his opinion, "An investigation... is an unbiased finding of fact... My job is not to judge people." Kuhlman credits his strong moral foundation to his parents and Christian upbringing. It’s created "an appreciation for the need of fairness, morality, respect for others and order in society." "At the end of the day, I can lay my head down to sleep knowing that I have worked and acted appropriately.”
When he's not working, Kuhlman is enjoying life; he enjoys traveling, being in the great outdoors and is a people person. "I enjoy people and seeing them in action whether it is their technique of launching a boat, milking a cow, giving instructions or just about anything. I enjoy humor and look for humor."
Sgt. Kuhlman is proud of his Texas roots because of the state's distinguished history of famous lawmen.
Sergeant Sidney Miller
Miller was born and raised in Mississippi and has over twenty years of experience in law enforcement. Prior to being promoted to the rank of homicide detective in 2002, Sgt. Investigator Miller was assigned to the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and Burglary Apprehension Response Squad. Becoming a homicide detective was the fulfillment of a career goal he had since first joining the Sheriff's Office in 1991. "It is an everyday learning experience and for now, my calling in life."
To Miller, a good homicide detective must be able to withstand pressure in critical situations, remain objective, and rely on the evidence to lead to the truth. A good detective must be able to communicate with people from all walks of life and develop a sense of when someone is lying and when they are telling the truth. Above all else, a "detective must have a personal sense of obligation in seeking justice for the victims of homicides and their families." Miller's Christian faith helps him cope with being around death.
The Sgt. has been married since 1988 and has one adult daughter. Spending quality time with his wife is what he enjoys outside of work. He appreciates his wife's constant support. When the opportunity arises, they enjoy going to sporting events.
Sergeant Henry Palacios
A lifelong resident of Houston, TX, Sgt. Palacios joined the S.O. in 1989. He worked in numerous departments before joining Homicide in 2002, including Patrol, Narcotics, Major Violators and Child Abuse. Helping those who can't help themselves was a major motivation for the Sergeant to join law enforcement. A good homicide investigator is able to "care for someone you’ve never met... and doing everything you can to find the person who caused their death." The greatest reward for Sgt. Palacios is making the case. "At first you start with nothing and by your own will and drive you crack the case."
Working out and punching a punching bag is a great source of relief from the stress that comes with being a homicide investigator. The Sgt. also likes spending time with his wife, fishing and doing yard work. He and his wife have one son.
Sergeant Mark Reynolds
Sergeant Mark Reynolds was born in the Texas Midwest and raised in Houston. He spent the first 5 years of adulthood as a machinist in the oil related industry before joining the Harris County Sheriff's Office in 1983. Sgt. Reynolds was promoted to Detective in 1991 and assigned to the Child Abuse Division in 1992; he transferred to the Homicide Division in 1994, where he is still assigned.
Sgt. Reynolds is married and has an adult son.
Sergeant Felipe Rivera
Harris County homicide Sgt. Felipe "Phil" Rivera knew he wanted to work in law enforcement at a young age. "Growing up in a tough neighborhood I saw lots of crime and wanted to make a difference by helping people."
Rivera, who has more than 26 years experience in the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, has been in Homicide for almost 10 years. He sets the bar high for himself and says, "My goal going out to a scene is to solve all my cases." While Rivera loves the challenge of homicide, he admits that at times the job can get to him. "When the case is not going well and there are no leads, and no suspects--it begins to wear on me, due to the fact that I do not have answers for the victim's family."
Rivera has been married for 28 years and has three children. When he's not solving murder, he enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends.
Senior Deputy AJ Kelly
"There is no better satisfaction for me than to solve a murder," says Snr. Deputy A.J. Kelly. "Because no matter what your mother used to tell you," he says, "there are real 'monsters' out there."
As a child, Kelly was inspired by a family friend who was Chief of Police in the town he grew up in. "I used to ride with him while he was on duty. I always looked up to and respected him. He, more than anyone else, got me interested in law enforcement as a career." Kelly joined the Harris County Sheriff’s office in 1991.
Kelly was promoted to homicide in 2006. "You're told not to take the job personally, that it will consume you if you do. I don't think that's possible in Homicide," he says. "If you are not a little consumed and do not take each of your cases personally, it's not fair to the person you're working for, the decedent."
As an investigator, Kelly's learned to approach every case with an open mind. "Each scene I am sent to, I do my best to not have any preconceived notions prior to my arrival or before the initial investigation," he says. "No short cuts--no matter how redundant or insignificant they may seem."