It is the beginning of April, the fourth month of 2021 and there are already 86 total line of duty deaths. Fourteen of those were by gunfire and Texas leads the Total By State deaths with 14 out of the 86. Trooper Chad Walker was the most recent added to those statistics on the Officer Down Memorial Page. I'd like to say he, and all the other officers on this page, are more than just a statistic. They are husbands, fathers, sons, leaders in their community and serve in more ways than one.
Trooper Walker had served with the Texas Highway Patrol for six years and had 18 years of law enforcement experience. He had previously served with the Groesbeck Police Department, Athens Police Department, Henderson County Sheriff's Office, and Limestone County Sheriff's Office. He is survived by his wife, 15-year-old son, twin 7-year-old daughters, and a two-month-old daughter. Just as all those before him who were taken in a senseless and evil way, they will forever be remembered for their valor, their dedication, sacrifice and service. Our thoughts and many prayers go out to Trooper Walkers family in the difficulty day and months ahead.
I am very pleased and proud to announce that once again, for the ninth year in a row since becoming Sheriff, the Navarro County Jail has passed the Texas Commission on Jail Standards annual jail inspection. There is no warning of when an inspection will take place, we only know it will be conducted sometime during the calendar year. I give credit to all the hard working supervisors and employees of our Detention Division as it is not easy to keep up with the numerous state rules, regulations and state mandates all while trying to maintain a 33-year-old facility. Keeping maintenance and operational costs at a minimum and maintaining an average of 208 prisoners per day and all that goes with, I can assure you, is by no means an easy task. I commend those in my detention staff who continue to work diligently together as a team to maintain the daily operations of the facility. I truly do appreciate and thank each and every one of you for another job well done.
"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson. Again, thank you to all the members on my team.
This year due to Covid, we were unable to hold our Annual NCSO Departmental Meeting and Awards Ceremony. We did however present our Annual Departmental Awards to some very deserving individuals.
I would like to say congratulations to the following:
Telecommunicator Pshaun Martin on being awarded Employee of the Year, Deputy Danny Book awarded Deputy of the Year, and Sergeant Matt Phillips was awarded Detention Officer of the Year. Congratulations to these Deputies for a job well done during 2020. I want to commend and thank all employees for the job they do every day, 24/7 in serving the citizens of Navarro County. I appreciate your dedication and the effort you ALL put forth no matter the department you are assigned, the capacity in which you serve or the trying times and unfortunate circumstances which we face and most likely will continue to face in our current world. On behalf of myself and Chief Deputy Steward, we want to say thank you to our NCSO command staff who surprised us in presenting us with a Certificate of Appreciation for 32 Years of Committed Service and Leadership to the Citizens of Navarro County. We are not only grateful, humbled and honored but appreciate the recognition for our efforts, hard work and our continued diligence in working not only for our staff and officers, but for the citizens we both have served in many capacities over these past 32+ years.
This month we proudly introduce our newest NCSO employee to our Navarro County citizens. Rose Clark has been hired as our newest Patrol Deputy. Deputy Clark is a Navarro County resident who has several years of police experience after tenures at the Corsicana Police Department and Ennis ISD. Deputy Clark is a certified mental health peace officer and certified crisis negotiator who will immediately be assigned to the NCSO crisis negotiations team. We congratulate Rose and wish her all the very best with her new position.
This month we would like to congratulate and introduce individuals who have been promoted or transferred within the agency:
Deputy Ismael Esparza promoted to Corporal in the patrol division effective March 16, 2021, Deputy Travis Thurston on being promoted to Corporal in the patrol division effective March 16, 2021, Wesley Devorak was promoted to Corporal in detention effective April 01, 2021, Deputy John Aulds on being transferred from District Court Bailiff to his new position as Civil Deputy. Deputy Aulds has previously worked in corrections, patrol, courthouse security and District Court Bailiff. Deputy Aulds has recently completed an abbreviated FTO course in patrol and has now been assigned to his new position as one of our Civil Deputies, and Deputy Shelly Sweeney who successfully completed our patrol field training program. Deputy Sweeney has now been assigned to her new position as Navarro County District Court Bailiff. We wish them all the best of luck with their new positions.
This month we said goodbye and wished a very happy and well deserved retirement to Deputy Danny Book. Danny retired after serving over 28 years in law enforcement. Deputy Book served with San Diego, California PD for 17 years before moving to Navarro County and serving over 11 years with us here at the NCSO in detention and patrol. We truly wish you all the best and much happiness with the future Danny.
On Wednesday, March 31st, Corporal Shane Richards and Deputy Rose Clark had an eventful day protecting and serving our community. During the course of their patrol shift together they arrested five different suspects for outstanding warrants and narcotic possession. One suspect was arrested on an outstanding warrant for felony assault, then a traffic stop and investigation led to the vehicle driver being arrested for possession of controlled substance under 1 gram. Another traffic stop and investigation led to the arrest of two suspects for possession of controlled substance under 1 gram, then later another traffic stop and investigation led to one suspect being arrested on two outstanding arrest warrants for possession of controlled substance. That suspect ultimately received additional charges for possession of controlled substance over 1 under 4 grams and prohibited substance in a correctional facility. I applaud the excellent efforts of these deputies in doing their part to keep our community safe.
Also on Wednesday, March 31st at approximately 7 p.m., Corporal Travis Thurston made contact with a possible wanted female in Corsicana. Corporal Thurston was able to successfully identify the wanted female suspect and arrested her on two felony forgery of financial instrument warrants. During the investigation approximately 32.2 grams of methamphetamine was located. The female was then charged with manufacturer / delivery of controlled substance over 4 under 200 grams. Great job Corporal Thurston. I appreciate your dedication to taking these illicit drugs off our streets.
The Sheriff's Office had approximately 3,041 calls for service in March and our dispatch received 2,027 calls for assistance to 9-1-1. There were approximately 215 persons arrested and booked into the Navarro County Justice Center and the average daily jail population was 195 inmates. Seven inmates were transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and four inmates were transferred to State Jail and SAFP Units to serve their sentences. This month we estrayed four horses, one donkey, one emu and hauled them to our county farm at Petty's Chapel. We sold one estray cow and one estray bull at Corsicana Livestock Auction for $928.36, four estray horses and one donkey were sold at Elkhart Horse Auction for $1609.50 and $240.00 was collected in estray fees.
We are currently accepting applications for all divisions. We currently have vacancies in detention, patrol, courthouse security, community service officer, and the criminal investigation division. As in the past, applications will continue to be taken for any vacancy until the position is filled.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt.
As always, God bless and be safe,