WAXAHACHIE — It has been one month since Sheriff Chuck Edge was sworn in as the new Ellis County Sheriff and he visited the Rotary Club to explain some of his plans.
He had nothing but praise for how the men and women in the Sheriff’s Office conduct themselves and their attitudes toward their jobs. With their new sheriff, they are moving on to the future. Some of the retirees from the office have submitted applications to return.
Some of the sheriff’s plans include evaluating assets, training, personnel needs and use of the forfeiture funds. He has found patrol vehicles with 200,000 miles on them, beyond a normal life. The office’s training budget is only $300,000 which is not enough for an agency of this size. Although they are fully staffed, special functions involve pulling a patrol officer off his route and there are only four patrol officers for all of Ellis County. There is not a property room technician so security of evidence cannot be assured.
Offsetting these needs are some untapped funds that will help pay for them. The forfeiture fund is all of the funds that have been forfeited from crimes committed. The sheriff must spend them on “police applications.” This will cover many of the one-time items like patrol car purchases.
Although he has been involved in law enforcement his whole career, this is the first time Sheriff Edge has been in charge of a jail. The complexity of the jail operation is amazing. There are many different ways prisoners must be separated. There is men vs. women, solitary confinement, the medical area, special needs and other areas, each needing trained staff supervision. The state has closely regulated standards which must be followed and which are complex. On the sheriff’s third day on the job the state’s jail regulators called to make their audit of the operation. The jail passed for the eleventh straight year under Captain Terry Ogden’s leadership so that part of the job is well in hand.
Sheriff Edge has also begun the process of receiving Recognized status from the Texas Police Chiefs Foundation. Achieving this involves best practices and standards which cover all of the operation of the Sheriffs Office and is an indication of an excellent operation.
For more information about the Rotary Club of Waxahachie where we believe in Service Above Self and doing things as a club we cannot do alone, visit the club website at www.waxahachierotary.org. You can find American flag subscription forms there. Cow Creek Country Classic bike ride information will be there soon. The bike ride will be Saturday, June 24.