I would like to comment on the letter (to the editor) written about “No justice in Beeville” (on April 28). First, there is justice in Beeville. Unfortunately, it’s only the amount of justice that is allowed by the people who have been appointed in certain positions. You can’t blame officers of the Beeville Police Department or deputies of the Bee County Sheriff Office for mishaps that occur in the city or the county. These officers are the first to respond to your call, quick to help, most seen by the public and, when things go wrong, are the first to be blamed. In fact, these officers just take the report of what happen and let the rest of administration handle the rest.
At the top of the ladder are the city council or county commissioners. The real blame should go to them. The current chief of police made a good officer but doesn’t meet the standards of a chief. However, he meets the standards for the city council. Why?
Many people of the county know that, 95 percent of the time, there are only two deputies assigned in the entire county – one assigned to take every call north of Hwy. 59 and one assigned for every call south of Hwy. 59. In a county with a population over 32,000 and over 880 square miles, those two deputies have a lot on their plate. Many requests have been made for additional deputies and higher pay for them, but commissioners say no. They refused to buy the sheriff’s office vehicles and equipment. The SO has been purchasing patrol cars and life-saving equipment through grants and other forms of income because of the lack of the commissioners’ support.
Everyone knows about the oil boom here and how it is affecting Bee County. Commissioners still don’t feel the necessity of hiring more deputies to help control the traffic and calls concerning the oil boom. With the deputies’ salary and only one other deputy on the other side of the county, it’s more of a safety concern than anything else.
The SO receives complaint after complaint because a deputy is not seen in their area. It’s not the sheriff who should be blamed, it’s the “people” you, citizens of Bee County, who have voted for as commissioners. I wish the citizens could understand what really happens behind the desks of these decision makers with no law enforcement knowledge. Not everyone cares about police officers or deputies, but when someone is placed in a event that requires them to come to your aid, it’s nice to feel like you can count on them to show up.
Elections are around the corner, and you know who your city council members and county commissioners are. They may not care, but you can voice your opinion to them. It’s a shame that smaller towns and counties support their law enforcement officers more and pay more than what Beeville and Bee County do. All the payroll information of city and county employees are public.