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Tyler County Booster - Local News
Stories Added April 2010
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Sheriff’s Corner...

Tyler County Booster

Recently, our Office acquired two new additions to our roster, “Clover” and “Oso” (means bear in Spanish). Deputy Rene’ Gutierrez and Reserve Deputy Casey Whitworth are now on their way to becoming certified K-9 handlers, and their new partners, Clover and Oso, are in training with them. This type of training is time consuming, requiring the handlers to put in numerous hours outside their typical patrol duties, but in the long run, I feel these new additions could pay serious law enforcement dividends. Both dogs will be primarily trained in drug detection, but will also be trained in tracking and patrol duties. We are currently seeking more grant funding to assist us with the cost of this program, and hope that in the very near future the dogs will become an integral and productive part of the Sheriff’s Office. With other grant funds, we recently purchased a new computer and updated software to restart the “ARE YOU OK” PROGRAM, after the original computer was destroyed from hurricane damage. For those of you who are not aware what the program is, it utilizes a computer with special software to initiate a phone call to all Tyler County residents that have signed up. This way, elderly, special needs or disabled persons can be checked on daily, by simply answering the phone call, and punching in their own special code to verify they are “OK”. If they do not answer the calls coming from our Office, the computer will generate an audible alarm, allowing us to dispatch a deputy (or police officer if you live i n s i d e the city limits of Wo o d - ville) to the resident’s address for a “welfare concern” check. Due to the fact that almost 49% of Tyler County citizens are 65 or older or disabled, we feel this is an effective tool for our Office to serve you better, and hope to have the program up and running very soon. Details on how to enroll yourself or your loved ones will be distributed to The Booster for publication in future issues. Finally, a special project has been underway the past couple of weeks on the east side of the Justice Center, and that is the addition of a large garden for feeding our inmates. A few months back, I reported to you how we slashed the cost per inmate meal from $1.60 to $0.56, while still maintaining Jail Standards nutritional values, but now we are looking at other ways of saving money. Other than a tractor used to break the ground, inmates are made responsible for the upkeep of the garden each day, and due to its’ size, we predict it will provide fresh vegetables to the kitchen for quite awhile. All supplies used on the garden were purchased from the Jail Commissary fund, meaning no county tax money was expended for this project. I hope all of you had an enjoyable Western Weekend, and we look forward to seeing you during the Dogwood Festival activities.

Polk County Publishing Company