By Elmer Tanner
Navarro County Sheriff
The month of January was a very busy month with lots of activity for a new elected sheriff. We began the month with the oath of office beginning on New Year’s Day and we hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. The second week in office, I was surprised to have an inspector drop by for the annual Texas Commission on Jail Standards inspection. On the second day of the inspection and within 15 minutes of being advised that the inspection was complete and that we were in compliance, I was visited by a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) special agent After a pleasant meeting we were onto more business.
I have conducted many tours of the jail since I have taken office including the County Judge, commissioners and county auditor, so they can see the facility from the inside and the current condition of the facility. The original portion of the jail was built in 1988, making it about 25 years old. I would like to state that I am very proud of the detention center and supervisory staff and I appreciate the job they do inside the jail at the justice center.
I have conducted meetings with my staff in reference to making sure every officer understands that we are striving to be community oriented and the importance of serving the citizens.
In 2012, the Sheriff’s Office had approximately 2,035 livestock-related calls. During the month of January these types of calls continue to be prevalent.
Scam artists continue to try and prey on our citizens, with the scams becoming more and more elaborate. The latest attempts are to contact an elderly person advising of a family member or friend in jail in another country and that they represent legal aid and to send money via money order to a specified location for assistance in releasing the family member or friend. Don’t fall victim to these types of scams.
The security at the Justice Center and Navarro County Courthouse has always been a concern and was being addressed prior to the tragic shooting in Kaufman County.
A warrant team was formed and utilized during early January and they served several outstanding arrest warrants.
The Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle that was recently purchased to support the department’s tactical operation is ready to be placed into service if needed.
Officers assisted with a couple of vehicle pursuits with the suspects being taken into custody without incident.
Assisted Rice Police Department with a felony theft/robbery at Arizona Charlie’s Bingo in Rice with one suspect arrested and warrants issued for the other suspect. The suspect has since been arrested in Ellis County.
Three suspects were arrested at the Justice Center while reporting to serve weekend sentences. Two attempted to bring narcotics into the facility and one was intoxicated.
Various suspects were arrested for theft, burglary and narcotics charges during the month of January.
The jail population averaged about 185 people per day for January.
I reported to the commissioners court that the correctional food service provider had saved the taxpayers approximately $124,000 in the 2012 calendar year.
I addressed the commissioners court in reference to the use of inmates (trusty labor) for non-profit organizations. The law is clearly defined about the use of inmate labor.
Formed and utilized a work detail of female (trusty) labor to work in the field. At last count, the inmates had harvested about $1,100 worth of pecans at the county farm, and they are still harvesting.
I am meeting with vendors, both old and new, and we are continuing to look for cost-effective ways to serve the citizens without cutting service to the community that we serve.
As a citizen of Navarro County you are probably seeing some new faces at our agency along with officers that you already know but we are like the military, we are still looking for a few good men and women to work at the NCSO. Applications are available at the sheriff’s office located inside the justice center.
As always, God bless and be safe.
Sheriff Elmer Tanner