I am writing this on the morning of my 20th day in office and I am sitting here thinking, "man what a ride". The first 20 days have been fast and furious, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I have three departments, all moving forward and working with the new changes to make things better both for the Sheriff's Office and you as well. Yet with change comes a few opportunities, and we are working on these as they present themselves to us.
Let's start with the tax office. One of my employees is out on maternity leave. Mr. and Mrs. Lebow have a new addition to their family and we wish her a speedy recovery and the baby and family good health. My new employee, Casey Timmons went to work on the 5th and has been training with the state and working very hard to learn the new office. Everyone who has visited the tax office has been very patient and we would like to thank you all for this, and ask that you bear with us for just a little longer. Yet if you have a complaint, please bring it to me and I will handle it as quickly as possible.
The jail is rocking along and offers its own set of challenges concerning day to day operation as well as long term opportunities. We had our first jail inspection and lets just say that we have a lot of work ahead of us to get the jail to a level where it needs to be. Yet contrary to what you are hearing, we are not, nor do we intend to close the jail. We are all working hard, fast, and furiously to bring it up to code and make sure that all of our staff are trained according to the state standards. We also have some training issues facing us, and again we have jumped in and began to work on these as well. I am very proud of my jailer/dispatchers both full time and part time. The staff have faced a lot of changes and opportunities in the past 20 days and yet they have each and everyone risen to the occasion and pushed forward without looking back. My jail staff is intact, and for that I am extremely thankful. We are all facing numerous challenges and will meet them together. Texas Jail Standards have been extremely helpful and our inspector, Jackie Semerly has done a wonderful job both at pointing out our opportunities as well as working with us toward finding solutions. It is a very detailed plan and we will keep you abreast of the situation as we push forward.
The field deputies or patrol deputies have been working as well. I have had several comments on them being everywhere. I have instructed my field deputies to push forward aggressively on several issues. We will be working all three school zones and we will issue citations each and every time in these areas. We have had a number of complaints in this area and since it concerns the safety of our children, then it is pushed to the front of our safety issues. We will also be going after the drugs and the alcohol violations in our county. We have already made several drug cases with two felony methamphetamine cases, and issued numerous citations for alcohol related issues. I have spoken personally with Michael Deans with the TABC and asked for his assistance with this problem. Michael Deans is an experienced agent with TABC and was raised here in San Saba. He will be provided an office here at the courthouse with my deputies and we are asking for his continued assistance. If you are providing alcohol to minors and or allowing parties to occur on your property, you are in violation of Texas law and you can face both criminal as well as civil penalties. Please consider the severity of the situation and assist us with this situation, because I for one know for a fact the ones drinking at these illegal parties are NOT staying there. If you have any information on these illegal parties you may contact us at 325-372-5432. Oh yeah, before I forget, for the vehicle that continues to pass the school bus on HWY. 16 North, be advised that when (not if) we catch you, you will go to jail and your vehicle will be towed. There will be no citation issued for you, you have had your warning and you know who you are.
One of the reasons for our continued success in the Sheriff's office right now is my choice of a Chief Deputy. Bill Price is a veteran officer and brings with him to my department a vast array of knowledge to pass on to us all. Deputy Price has been working tirelessly at the jail as well as assisting me with fixing all the equipment needs at the sheriff's office. Deputy Price is in charge of the day to day operations of our jail as well as assisting me in the field with the deputies. Price has worked with the previous administration and brings with him a strong knowledge of the problems facing our county. Chief Deputy Bill Price will make himself available to the public and will assist you as will I with any and all concerns that you might have. He can be contacted through the dispatch at the jail and or his cell and trust me Deputy Price will follow up on your concerns.
We have alot of work ahead of us and I am excited about the challenges ahead for all of us. We are already working to bring back the Crime Stoppers program as well as pushing forward with the Sheriff Association membership drive. Our goal with my department is to put the Sheriff's Office back out in front of this community where it needs to be and to work with each and ever one of you in some form of fashion on the things that are important to you and our community.
I want to give a special thanks to our local heroes, the San Saba EMS for their assistance with an emergency at our jail. One of our jailers, Becky Starr was injured in a fall and EMS was there quickly, and as usual, professionally, to handle the situation. Mrs. Starr is going to be fine and our prayers are with her and her family. Once again EMS is there doing their part. I don't know about you, but it would be a scary situation to think that we did not have an EMS here. San Saba County EMS needs our help badly. If you have the time and could use the medical training, then boy do I have a deal for you. Watch for coming information concerning our EMS.
I want to end by saying that I am proud of each and ever one of the people who work in each of my departments. We tend to forget that every one of these individuals has families and personal lives, yet when things go bad that tends to be the first thing that they must sacrifice in order to protect each of us. The midnight prisoner or mental transfers, the extra shifts due to sickness. The ones who always come out for the major emergencies such as wrecks and fires.Yet the simple things that they do every day, like Brenda Willis going to Brownwood hospital to check on one of her staff who had been injured, Estella Soto coming in to work without notice and everyone else calling in and volunteering to work and or change their work schedule. Yes, I am very proud to not only be your Sheriff, but to call each and every one of these professionals "my staff as well as my friends." Thank you for your support and keep us in your prayers.