June 21, 2019
Caroline Dozier, a career prosecutor and gang expert at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, has been awarded Prosecutor of the Year by the Texas Gang Investigators Association.
The recognition comes as District Attorney Kim Ogg and other officials warn of a years-long gang war in Southeast Houston that has claimed at least 51 lives.
“Everyone in this county needs to know this is not a localized problem, it’s not an ethnic problem, it’s a youth problem that morphs into an adult problem,” Ogg said. “It is a battle in our streets, and we need prevention programs now in our schools, we need intervention programs, and we need effective prosecution.”
Dozier said her job involves putting violent gang members in prison, but it also means working with them, if possible, as well as helping others who have become victims of the violence because they are connected to gangs or caught in their crosshairs.
“I love working on these cases. I love trying to steer some of these young people away from a life of crime,” Dozier said. “I’m not saying that I succeed, but I do try to give them advice, try to help them make better choices for the limited time that I’m involved in their lives.”
Dozier was licensed to practice law in 1993 and began prosecuting gangs in 2006.
“I’ve always been fascinated by gangs and gang culture,” she said. “It’s like their religion, it’s their family. And that’s the thing I find fascinating: who people will live and die by it. Sometimes they choose the gang over their flesh and blood.”
She said the award from the Texas Gang Investigators Association was an honor because the group is so dedicated to ending gang violence.
During her career, Dozier has prosecuted hundreds of gang members, suspects in cold cases and other high-profile defendants.
Dozier has been widely recognized as an expert on gangs.
The Texas Gang Investigators Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1991 by a small group of officers tasked with investigating street gangs, prison gangs, organized crime and their related criminal activities.
There are almost 1,500 members of TGIA across the United States working to promote cooperation and rapid exchange of information about gang related incidents, suspects and investigations.