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New deputy to focus on drug, gang activity

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Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:00 am

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.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Fair And Balanced posted at 9:07 am on Thu, Jan 17, 2013.

    Fair And Balanced Posts: 6

    While I think that the new Sheriff has great ideas, I also think that adding one narcotics officer will not even scratch the surface of the drug problem Austin County has. This problem has existed in the county for quite some time. The county as a whole, has done their best to fight the good fight but as they take one offender out, another steps in his place to carry on the distribution into this county. While illegal drugs are a problem that needs to be addressed, drug usage among teenagers is growing. There is nothing to deter this generation because they have nothing else offered to them as a positive outlet in this county. There is little if anything available to our youth other than the churches and school activities as outlets to these kids. There is no public place they can gather that offers a positive alternative in Austin County. To begin controlling drugs you must first get through to the youth because they are the ones facing the highest risk. The term "Idle hands are the Devils work" can be compared to this situation. If the youth of this county have nothing to turn to other than what is currently offered to them then what are we setting them up to do? I think it is the best interest of the county to gather the businesses, churches, school administration and community leaders to come up with a solution for the youth. Creating a positive atmosphere and location with activities that truly interest them will give them an outlet other than drinking and drugs for entertainment. If local business owners are willing to donate their time by meeting with this group and allowing them to observe their business practices and in some situations even participate creates communication. Giving our youth a voice in this community is probably the First step that needs to take place. Allowing them as a group to meet with public officials and councils so they can voice their concerns and wishes is key. It is even more important that we LISTEN to them. Can you imagine the possibilities if the youth of our county were given voices to the leaders of this community. By allowing them to meet with city council, the police departments and let them voice their concerns and TRULY be listened to and taken Seriously would me monumental. Taking action toward their concerns and wishes is KEY. Simply patting them on the head and stating you understand will not only create a bigger gap but will add to the negative attitude they have toward our leaders of this county. Programs are great if they are realistic and can effectively communicate to this peer group. You have to get on their level and talk about REAL issues facing them. It is amazing what you find out when you just sit down and talk with them without preaching to them. You must get to the source of their concerns and understand what they are before you can begin to make effective changes. Once you can accomplish communication you will then begin to build up the trust of our youth. Trust will open the door which gives you the upper hand in fighting drug usage. From this point, you may be able to backtrack to the source of distribution without these youths having fear of retribution from their peers, local government or drug dealers. I learned early on that if I wanted to know what was really happening in the community, ask the youth. They are a huge source of information and know more about what is happening on our streets then the adults.