Last week, I spent several days at the 135th Training Conference for the Sheriff’s Association of Texas in Corpus Christi. There were both speakers in general sessions and then breakout sessions with specific topics of current concern to sheriffs. Of the 254 sheriff’s in Texas, three are now women - two from very high population counties of Dallas and Bexar and one from Edwards County, a large county with a small population.
While I was in Corpus Christi, the Advance-Guard published the article about the city considering forming a police department. Many have been interested in my reaction to this. I personally feel that the more peace officers in the county/city the better. But I think it will be more complicated and more expensive that most supporters of the plan think.
Several comments made in the article need clarifying. While it is true that my deputies have to respond to a lot of loose livestock calls (way more than we would like), they also respond to lots of calls in the city. While the city makes up less than 1/3 of the county’s population, way more than 1/3 of the calls for service come from inside city. I am currently having my head dispatcher work on getting numbers covering a long period of time.
Sheriff’s deputies and constables cannot enforce city ordinances, but many of the ordinances mirror state statute which we can enforce. My deputies are expected to answer every call for service. They make multiple fireworks calls in the city and county at every holiday, and even if they can’t write tickets for the offense, they do speak to the offenders expecting them to stop.
I think we all know that robbing the local Circle K is not violating an ordinance, but is a crime. I hope Reserve Deputy Constable San Miguel was trying to be humorous with this comment. And I don’t think most citizens in Goliad think that “this town is completely unprotected.”
I still stand ready to carry the commission of the SRO. Even though the court voted to end the current inter-local agreement at the end of September, they had already given the school administration a contract to consider which would replace it.
So far the board has not had the new interlocal agreement on their agenda. I understand that it will be discussed the first week of August. The new agreement is based on what most agencies and schools use. I know that we can all work together in a professional manner to provide the policing necessary in our county, city and schools.
Goliad County Sheriff