Tuesday, March 14, 2006

My Letter To Commissioner Eversole

I got fired up writing a "piece" for my neighborhood's message board and it carried over into the following letter:

Commissioner Jerry Eversole
1001 Preston Street
Room 924
Houston, TX 77002

Dear sir,

I write with great concern about the reports I’m reading and hearing about the highly trained men and women in the Sheriff’s Department leaving the county and going to work for other agencies. These other agencies are willing to pay more and offer better benefits to skim the cream of our young law enforcement crop. The older deputies are not leaving because they have too much time to lose. The young ones are not going because they don’t have the patrol experience.......yet. We are also losing jail deputies and communications call takers and dispatchers.

I’ve sat at many a community meeting and heard for years how shorthanded the Sheriff’s Department is.......the next new class they’d say is going to add xxx number of personnel to the streets and yet it’s never enough. Crime is on the increase and we should be paying more to keep the ones we have and attract even better new ones each year. If that means a raise in taxes, so be it....just make sure the money increased goes into the pockets of the deputies and not for some feel good program to keep the citizens happy. I’m a citizen and it would make me very happy to see our deputies putting their lives on the line each and every day with their heads held high and their children’s futures more secure.

Thank you for any positive consideration you can give this plea.

Respectfully yours,

This is, in part, what I wrote that fired me up:

I've been keeping any eye on security for years and the number
one problems have always been noise disturbances, people not being able
to get along with their immediate neighbors and vandals. There is no
heavy duty crime in here. The deputies get calls all the time that are
NOT criminal matters, but civil ones and there's nothing they can do
except offer suggestions and advice. There are people that drive too
fast and run the stop signs, but short of having the deputies park by
the signs, there's nothing that can be done and if the deputies are
parked by the stop signs they are not patrolling....there is nothing to
stop folks from doing "stuff" on the other side of the neighborhood if
they know the deputy is on this side, etc. As good a job as the
Sheriff's Department deputies are doing, they can't protect us if they
aren't right there when something happens. They make the report and
sometimes catch the guilty parties after the fact, but people are
ultimately responsible for their own personal safety and that starts
with keeping your eyes open and your "stuff" secured. Get a handgun and
learn how to use it and store it safely. Get a dog and keep it inside so
you can hear it if it alerts on something. Keep an eye on your neighbors
too and call 713-221-6000 if you even hear a squirrel fart! Call 911 if
you see a crime in progress!

And, bear in mind that the news reports of Harris County deputies
leaving to go and work for better wages and benefits at HPD are true.
The county has been short handed for YEARS and it's not going to get any
better until we the taxpayers are willing to pay more money and demand
that tax money be spent to offer better wages and benefits for these
highly trained men and women. The best way we can do that is to flood
the Harris County Commissioner's Court with letters and phone calls
telling them we expect more deputies on the streets NOW and we want to
keep the ones we've got. Our Precinct 4 County Commissioner is Jerry
Eversole at 713-755-6444. His downtown office is located at 1001
Preston, Room 924, Houston 77002.

My other rants about the need for better wages and benefits, etc.

Will CC Wake Up When The Last Deputy Departs?
Harris County Deputies Deserve Better Pay NOW

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