2016-10-26 / Editorial & Columns

Behind the Badge

Funerals, inspections, Out of town reporters, and Eight-liners
By Larry G. Spence

Do you ever get those times when it seem there's just not enough hours in the day to get everything done? I get them on a regular basis, but sometimes they run in weeks instead of days- That's the way it's been this week for us. It started with funerals of friends and former employees, & acquaintances. We had four of them attend and meet with family and friends. One was to be later in the form of a Memorial Service. I Just finished the last one just before writing this column. It's good to be able share good memories, and try to be a comfort to the families. I had a reporter travel all the way from San Antonio to ask questions about the eight-liners in our County, and also one from the Valley. It's hard to explain because if you are working on them you don't want to tip them off, and if you're not at the time, they want to know why. That's the hardest part trying to talk "off the record." We are totally aware of the growing number of game rooms opening up and are watching them closely. To shut one down takes time, manpower, investigative work, and much more, and we haven't had much of any of that recently. Rest assured, it is on our "things to do list", and not setting on the back burner.

I know that was a long paragraph, but I was trying to," say something without saying anything," if you know what I mean. Like any investigation there is a process to be followed. Currently I have one Investigator out and one Patrol Supervisor also out, and we just this week filled another vacancy in Patrol. In addition to all this, we have been building up our jail staff and have recently added several new employees. This week we also started two in a jailer academy in Hidalgo County, so we are moving forward in a positive manner. Part of our activity in our jail has been changing some guidelines on visitation, trustee status, working on commissary, phone service, and trying to prepare for our yearly inspection. Yesterday, that time arrived, unannounced as usual. After a brief chat with the inspector he spent the rest of the day going through personnel files, testing alarms, checking security check logs and fire drill logs, and much, much, more. We are pleased to say we passed the inspection and maintained our certification. A great job was done by the jail staff and supervisors to reach this goal.

Does that mean things are going to slow down now? Not hardly, there is always something that needs to be done, investigated, or followed up on. Fortunately, this year's budget remained the same as last year but we are still feeling the crunch from losing four slots last year. However, we will continue to move forward, thank you for your support. Hope your week was less stressful than mine. Stay safe and stay blessed!

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