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Accountability = Public Safety


SheriffAccountability = Public Safety

Daily, we make decisions in our lives knowing that each of those decisions carries with them consequences-good and bad.  A very smart individual once said, "Laws alone cannot eliminate crime." I would add there must be consequences for those individuals who commit crimes in order to preserve the safety and well-being of any community. 

Last month, we discussed the importance of ensuring accountability for those who commit crimes against individuals and businesses regardless of where the criminal resides. Our goal, together with our other law enforcement partners, is to make our county unattractive to criminals from the surrounding areas.  There are several contributing factors as to why the jail houses on average a large percentage of out-of-county inmates. We are neighbors to one of the largest cities in the country. San Antonio is at our back door allowing criminals to take advantage of what they may believe is a target-rich area. Interstate 10 runs the entire southern portion of the country from the east coast to the west coast. We will never know how many criminals are passing through our county daily using this highway. Many are caught just trying to pass through while others exit and commit their bad deeds in our communities. Criminals have no regard for county lines. Many good people from all over the country come to visit or relocate here. Of those, there is a small fraction of bad people, attracted to our county as well.  

Accountability is one of the five core values of the Kendall County Sheriff's Office. The core value states, "We are responsible and accountable for our actions. Thus, we expect our officers to exercise self-restraint in times of crisis; and we expect our enforcement actions to adhere to the facts at hand."  It should not be surprising that we carry out actions to enforce accountability for those who intentionally commit crime in Kendall County; and that by doing so; we exceed the capacity of the jail and expend a large portion of the Jail's budget housing offenders outside of the county until they receive a final disposition from the District Court. You must also know that by statute, the jail houses criminals from all the law enforcement agencies within the country including the Boerne and Fair Oaks Ranch Police Departments and the Department of Public Safety.   

Unfortunately, sending offenders to other facilities and the incurred costs are unavoidable if we are to keep our communities safe. Our current jail has 102 beds and houses 92 inmates. We have had as many as 150 inmates in our custody. This is why we are in the process of an expansion of up to 51 beds to the current jail facility. Obviously, this will not solve our current or future problem of overcrowding; but for the present, it helps to lessen the numbers of offenders sent out of the county and the associated costs. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards completed a needs assessment and recommended a 196-bed jail for Kendall County.

It is imperative that we at the Sheriff's Office look to the future and plan accordingly. As we continue to grow at an accelerated rate, deal with the adverse effects from of COVID-19, and what is happening at our southern border, we must plan for both the effects on our jail and in our communities. We know that the Cartels are smuggling and trafficking illegal immigrants throughout county from the Del Rio area on IH-10 headed east to stash houses in the Houston area and beyond.

Recently, together with CDA Nicole Bishop, we participated in a roundtable with Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Chip Roy, and private sector experts in an effort to frame our local issues and enlist the assistance of the federal government to abate any Cartel activities here in our county.  The Cartels are an enterprise-a business, and their commodities are people (human trafficking) and illicit drugs. It is unfortunate that the current policies of the Administration in D.C. are encouraging and enabling the Cartels' activities that undoubtedly will adversely affect our county. We will continue to work with all our partners and use all available resources to ensure the safety of the businesses and citizens of Kendall County. In the meantime, we are thankful for their support to start the expansion of the jail; and as the county grows, we look forward to the communities' backing for a larger expansion in the future. 

We are grateful for the support we receive from the citizens of Kendall County and are proud to serve and protect the phenomenal communities that make up Kendall County, Texas!

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