Once again we have been very busy at the jail. Heavy duty cleaning projects, as well as fixing walls, scraping and painting are just some of the projects underway. The dispatchers have been working fast and furiously at both assisting with the monitoring of working inmates as well as dispatching and booking inmates in and out. If you ever want to see stress in action, become a jailer/dispatcher. These individuals have a very tough job and we need to always let them know how invaluable they are to us here in San Saba. Becky Star underwent surgery Tuesday in Austin, please keep her in your prayers. She is the injured dispatcher and we are really missing her at work.
The tax office is running at about 60 percent. We have had a bout with the stomach virus going around, so that sets us back even more. Yet Casey is getting her feet on the ground and we are pushing forward ever closer to the 9th of February when we are looking forward to the return of Brandy Lebow. Brandy will be taking over the supervisor job and will be able to bring us back to full strength. Brandy will also be in charge of making sure everyone (including myself, God help us) is trained, and can fill in and keep us up and running when problems strike. That will be a key element with our new staff and the tax office. I'm sorry for some of the delays and problems that have arisen, but it is my office and the blame is mine. I feel we are still on-line to meet my 90 day goal for all the departments to be back up and running smoothly.
Now to the field and a new set of challenges. I have been really busy and have put off putting myself in the field very much. Yet lots of things changed for me this past Wednesday night. Four of our young people nearly had a fatal car crash on Wallace Creek Road, and once again, alcohol was involved. This incident not only scared me, but angered me. I know for a fact that law enforcement has been in each and every school for more than ten years, educating our children on the dangers of drugs and underage drinking. Yet we are not getting our message across. Well, it's time we draw a line in the sand and push real hard to get certain individuals' attention. We all know that the San Saba Police Department led by Chief Riggs has been a zero tolerance city on drugs and alcohol for a while, but not the county. Well, that ends right now! Not only will we attack the narcotics problem on every front we can, but now we will push just as hard on the alcohol issue. I have heard all the arguments that it's better to drink than do drugs, or well, it's just a way of life, and many other very stupid sayings. Well, it's easy for me, if you drink and drive you go to jail. If you are a minor and you drink and drive, you go to jail. If you buy alcohol for minors you go to jail and we will encourage the parents of the child caught to pursue other charges against you both criminally, as well as civilly. This is not a game, alcohol is still the leading killer on our roadways and it is a threat that we will address in the Sheriff's Office. No breaks for anyone anytime. We will have more information next week on this issue, yet believe that we are serious and will do whatever necessary to protect our roadways for our children. A final note on alcohol and that is to state that as Sheriff it is just as much my job to protect an individual's right to drink as to arrest one who has violated the law. I am not after anyone but those individuals who choose to break the law and choose to place others in danger by doing so. I can only pray that everyone understands the real danger we face here and how many of our community leaders are now raising up and assisting us with this danger. I do not want to arrest a single person, but that is why I personally visited every school and warned everyone possible that the gloves are off. We have educated everyone on the dangers, now we must hold the line and allow those individuals who choose so to reap the consequences of their actions.
We want to thank you for all your support and prayers and hope that if you have a concern you will stop by the courthouse and visit with us. Yet if you cannot, then feel free to call us at the jail at 325-372-5551 or myself at 325-372-8722 and we will do our best to help you.
Thank you, Sheriff Brown.