Increase in accidents, crime keeping local DPS troopers busy
by Danay Gilley
May 17, 2012 | 429 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KARNES COUNTY – With the increase in traffic and the recent fatal accidents on local highways some Karnes County residents are questioning the performance of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers assigned to the area.

Recent statements have surfaced regarding the amount of time DPS vehicles can be seen parked at the Karnes County annex building instead of being on patrol in high traffic areas.

Residents have also questioned the number of DPS Troopers patrolling here compared to the number in other counties.

According to DPS Trooper Steve Bailey the vehicles seen at the annex are assigned to off duty Troopers.

One of the patrol cars is assigned to a Trooper who is currently on deployment in Afghanistan.

The car is used occasionally by a trainee to run errands when his field training officer is not available to drive him.

At the time of this interview Trooper Bailey and the secretary were the only ones in the office yet three patrol cars were parked outside the office.

“We care about the safety of Karnes County residents,” said Bailey. “Several of us live here with our families.”

Like other law enforcement agencies in the area the Troopers are short staffed.

Wilson, Karnes and Goliad Counties are all short of the number of Troopers that should be assigned to those offices.

To make up for the shortage Troopers may have to cover accidents and other incidents in three counties.

Troopers are also subject to being sent to help secure the boarder against drugs and undocumented immigrants.

According to information from the DPS the Troopers patrol approximately 225,544 miles of rural highways.

In addition to their traffic patrol responsibilities, DPS troopers conduct fraudulent document investigations, are partnered with drug and explosive detection canines, are members of Civil Disturbance Management Teams, comprise the majority of the DPS Dive Team, and provide forensic mapping of crime scenes.

The Troopers also serve arrest warrants.

In Karnes County alone DPS Troopers have investigated 77 accidents including seven fatalities since Jan. 1 of this year.

Troopers have written 1200 tickets for various traffic offenses.

In addition they have arrested 18 DWI offenders, served 11 search warrants and made eight arrests for other various offenses.

These statistics do not include the tickets, accidents and arrest taken care of by the same Troopers in other counties or calls to assist other agencies.
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