Friday , 25 May 2018

Deputies Upset With Some on Commissioners Court, Say Growing Area Needs More Hires

TSB Staff, Community Links

The anonymous posts on the Collin County Deputies Association blog give the rest of us insight into what’s up behind the scenes in the McKinney area.

According to the deputies on the blog, Collin County needs more law enforcement personnel as soon as possible, and this needs to be addressed in the county budget.

Deputies were not happy about a report that County Judge Keith Self was in Austin addressing the State Legislative Committee on Pensions.

The Collin County Deputies Association consists of deputies and employees in the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, Constables’ Offices, Fire Marshal’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.

Check out what’s being said: “It would appear that he is once again lobbying against all police and firefighter pensions in Texas.”

Fans of the deputies Facebook page had strong opinions on that, too, but not all could be printed in a family publication.

The deputies association blog presents the case for more hires:

“During the 2012 Collin County budget process in 2011, Sheriff [Terry] Box showed the court that Collin County was far behind other area sheriff’s offices in the deputy to citizen ratio. He asked for and received three additional patrol positions, an additional motorcycle position and a canine replacement. This brought the officer to citizen ratio (for patrol) to 1/2259. It was discussed and generally agreed upon last year that the sheriff’s office would receive three additional patrol positions for five years for a total of fifteen deputies.

“Provided there was no change in the unincorporated population, the requested number of  patrol deputies, in five years, would bring the ratio down to 1/1564. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ recommended average is 1.8/1000 for a population between 50,000 and 99,999. Sheriff Box’s request was right on target.”

The deputies point out that during this year’s 2013 Collin County budget process, Sheriff Box again asked for an additional three deputies to stay on track in providing adequate protection for citizens and law enforcement personnel.

Deputies wrote: “The Sheriff was met with resistance from two members of the court. Judge Keith Self questioned the Sheriff as to how many Collin County deputies have been shot at or had to draw their weapons in recent years. Is this now a requirement or some obscure guideline that Self is basing this question on? If so, what are the recommended number of times a deputy has to be shot at or draw his weapon to justify a position? Does a Tazer count?”

Deputies said, “Barely two weeks after he made this statement, two Collin County deputies were involved in a shooting in the Northeast end of the county. Reports are not fully in, but it appears two of Self’s requirements have been met. Is that incident worth one or two new patrol positions?”

Commissioner Duncan Webb raised the blood pressure of deputies, too.

Deputies said: “To add an entirely new and almost humorous twist to the requirements of adding additional patrol deputies, or rather the lack of qualifying for them, County Commissioner Duncan Webb, of  affluent West Plano, questioned whether people who live in rural areas should expect the same amount of fire and police protection as people who live in cities. From those remarks, it appears as though Mr. Webb places a lower value on the lives and property of those not ‘fortunate enough’ to live in a city.”

The deputies support their boss in saying more deputies must be hired.

Deputies wrote: “Sheriff Box, who receives state and national awards for running an exemplary office, and has the complete faith and confidence of the citizens of Collin County, would not ask for additional manpower unless he felt it was completely necessary. This commissioner’s court has far too long played politics with the safety of the citizens of this county, and it’s time for them to stop.”

TSB welcomes reader comments.

– Brian Bearden contributed to this TSB report.

Collin County Deputies Association


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