In response to the need for full-time narcotics and gang deterrent officer and his goal to put more deputies on the streets, Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes started off the New Year with a request for a new deputy position.
Funds for that deputy position will come from a sergeant position that was dissolved in the sheriff’s department and will result in an increase of only $845.
Brandes reports that a full-time narcotics officer is needed to help contain and prevent future crime in the county.
“Almost all other crimes committed in our county can be linked directly back to narcotics activity,” he explained.
Gang activity is also increasing, with the department already having identified six active gangs in the area.
This narcotics deputy would also communicate with and aid other cities.
“This is important since most drugs originate outside Austin County and are brought here by drug dealers and gang members,” Brandes said.
Other changes in the department include taking away the sergeant positions - one of which was dissolved. The second was made into a corporeal, which would act as a supervisory deputy on patrol.
Another deputy in the civil division was made into a corporeal and one in weights and measures became a corporeal as a supervisor of that area.
The third sergeant of the department was made a working lieutenant. Although he will have some paperwork in the office like the current lieutenant, he will mostly be on the streets and in charge of the other deputies and corporals.
“I wanted more worker bees,” Brandes said of the changes.