Big Lake is in Need of More Deputies 11/1/13
CBS 7 News
At the Commissioner’s Court meeting in mid October, Reagan County Sheriff Jeff Garner says he asked for more deputies. He says the commissioners’ responses were, when would it end.
We took a ride with Sheriff Garner to get a firsthand look at their workload on a daily basis.
Sheriff Garner says the office serves the city and the county, and with the growth in traffic during the day, not to mention the growing population in general, his office needs more deputies. He says he’s asked the city council and county commissioners to each fund one new deputy. According to city manager, Evelyn Ammons, they just don’t have enough money right now but may in the future.
County commissioners were unavailable for comment on the proposal.
“We could do with what we have right now,” says Sheriff Garner, “but we can’t be proactive […] that’s how taxpayers will get the most of their money, is if we are being proactive.” He says he’s grateful for what he has, but the need for more is there.
Things are so busy that two new deputies have been added specifically for traffic which a problem that's exploded in recent years.
"I came back from retiring […] now am a Traffic Commercial Vehicle Deputy because the sheriff said he needed help," says JJ Golliday.
It isn't just oilfield traffic. Deputies are needed to help tackle the growing number of RVs and businesses popping up everywhere.
According to the sheriff, from September 9th, 2013 to October 15th, 20013, they made 18 arrests, 460 reports, and went out on 385 calls for service. He says based on calls alone from 2012 statistics, the sheriff’s office needs four officers on call at any given time according to International Association Chiefs of Police, a nationally recognized police organization, formulas. Now in 2013, the formula says that he should have six on at all times. He says he’s only asking for two more.
Sheriff Garner says the next steps are to continue communicating with the city council and county commissioners. He says he will continue to bring them monthly reports in hope that they might find a way to fund two more deputies.