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Sheriffs speak about border security

Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:16 a.m.

Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon, left, and  DeWitt County Sheriff Jodie Zavesky speak to the Republican Women of Yoakum at their monthly meeting.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jodie Zavesky and Lavaca County Sheriff Micah Harmon recently spoke to the Republican Women of Yoakum at their monthly meeting and provided voters an opportunity to ask questions. The two main interests were border security and the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale on area law enforcement.

The sheriffs spoke of human smuggling, drug activity and the challenges they face while trying to fight these crimes with limited staff and resources. They spoke of the many methods smugglers use to disguise their vehicles: painting them to imitate legitimate delivery trucks such as Walmart and even as ambulances. White pick-up trucks are often used and are lettered with Texas Department of Transportation or even county identification. If the human traffickers feel they are about to be apprehended, they cut and run, stopping their vehicle on the side of the road, and all the illegals scatter into the country side on rural roads. They take their cell phones, complete with GPS, to inform their base as to where they can regroup in another area. At this point, the illegal immigrants are many times left on their own.

Each man spoke of his duties and responsibilities as County Sheriff in a rural county as opposed to a large urban county. They gave details about their staff and organization. They have lost many qualified personnel due to higher wages offered in the oil field. Patrolling a large area and answering calls in a timely manner are problems that are being addressed by the sheriffs and the county officials. Both sheriffs agree that crime has not increased since the oil activity has grown in the Eagle Ford Shale counties. Traffic accidents and road destruction are the main problems.

The RWOY organization has members and men associate members from DeWitt, Lavaca and Gonzales Counties. Meetings with timely speakers are held the first Wednesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Yoakum Community Center. Visitors are welcomed, and lunch is served. For more information, call 361-594-4258 or visit the RWOY Facebook page.

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