Message from the Sheriff Concerning Budget
To the Citizens of Lee County:
I promised as your Sheriff to provide a safe environment for all the citizens of Lee County. Due to the amount of information to share, several letters will be posted each week to provide you with as much information as possible.
I ask you to take the time to read the explanation of why additional funding is requested for the Lee County Sheriff's Office:
1. Calls for service have more than doubled from last year and the required reports have doubled as well.
2. Currently there are 15 law enforcement positions at the Lee County Sheriff's office, to include the Sheriff. We have one vacancy from a recent resignation. The positions are broken down as:
2 Patrol Sergeants,
1 Sergeant Investigator,
1 Chief Deputy,
A. The deputies work twelve hour shifts, which puts two deputies on patrol at any given time unless one of the following takes place:
o A prisoner transport where we are either taking an inmate to TDCJ, a doctor appointment, to court, or picking up a prisoner from another County on a warrant out of Lee County. This happens daily during the week, and in many instances, several times daily where two deputies are being utilized for transports.
o Court duty where a deputy is required to provide security for the commissioner's court and district court. Constable Surman and Constable Stephens help tremendously by providing court security at Attorney General Court, County Court, and JP Court. When they are unable to work in this capacity, one or more deputies are required to fill in.
o We are required to position a deputy with a prisoner who is hospitalized during the entire time their medical condition dictates hospitalization.
o A deputy is required to transport a mental health subject to a proper mental health facility out of county when the situation dictates.
o Lee County deputies serve civil papers, evictions, writ of possessions, and levies on property.
o The Lee County Sheriff's Office is the animal control for the county and are responsible for all estrays.
o Deputies cover calls for local police departments when they have no personnel available to answer their calls.
o There are times other circumstances arise, such as sick leave or testifying in court which require the deputies to be taken off patrol.
B. This leaves the county with one deputy for calls or no deputy available to cover Lee County. The law enforcement administrative staff have worked to cover when the deputies are taken from their primary duties or calls for service becomes backlogged.
3. The population of Lee County is growing rapidly, an example of which can be seen in the traffic volume and property sales. Turning a blind eye to this only creates an environment where the citizens of Lee County will see a continuous increase in criminal activity, minimal law enforcement presence, and extremely delayed response times.
When a citizen calls 911, they should expect a reasonable response time from law enforcement authorities and for the situation to be addressed professionally, thoroughly, and in a completely fair and impartial manner.
Seven (7) additional commissioned law enforcement personnel were requested in this year's budget to alleviate the delayed response where citizens are waiting several hours for a law enforcement officer to respond, which causes investigations to be rushed, and proper follow-up to be delayed.
Thank you for your time. In an attempt to keep this short, additional information regarding the budget request will be posted tomorrow. We plan to have meetings around the county for citizens to attend and discuss crimes or concerns. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
May GOD richly bless each of you!
Casey Goetz, Sheriff
Lee County Texas