Lavaca County Sheriff wins peacemaker award
July 30, 2014 at 2:30 a.m.
For more about Project Lifesaver, call the Lavaca County Sheriff's Office at 361-798-2420.
Lt. Eddie Vaccaro with the Lavaca County Sheriff's Office has been in law enforcement for more than 20 years, but he'll tell you emphatically that Sheriff Micah Harmon is the best of the best.
Harmon received a peacemaker award and an AR-15 for his involvement in the community at a banquet hosted by the Sheriffs' Association of Texas on Tuesday night.
"There's 253 other sheriffs in the state of Texas that probably deserve it more than I do, but I was very honored to get it and very appreciative of my staff," Harmon, 49, said.
When he took office in 2005, he started Project Lifesaver with grant money.
Project Lifesaver hands out tracking devices for those with Alzheimer's disease or Down syndrome.
While deputies have never had to track someone down using the device, "I have heard tragic stories of how people wander off," Harmon said. "This is just a tool we can use to hopefully save a life."
Harmon also oversaw construction of the Lavaca County Criminal Justice Center, which in addition to housing deputies' offices, houses the justice of the peace and a game warden.
"We were looking ahead and actually built the building larger," Harmon said.
It's a 48-bed jail, but there's enough space to include 72 beds.
Before, Lavaca County had a 12-bed jail, he said.
Harmon also oversaw the investigation of a triple homicide as well as a sexual assault case that had the phones ringing off the hook, garnering the attention of Nancy Grace and Bill O'Reilly.
In the sexual assault case, a father was charged with beating Jesus Mora Flores to death for sexually assaulting his 5-year-old daughter.
Officials say the father caught Flores in the act.
The father was not indicted by a grand jury.
Vaccaro spent two months and collected 12 letters of recommendation to secure the award for Harmon.
Harmon didn't know he'd been nominated until they announced his name as the winner.
"He kept asking me, 'Why are you going to Shiner? Why are you going to Yoakum?' Vaccaro said, getting a kick out of how stealth he was about the process.
Before Harmon became sheriff, he was a justice of the peace and a deputy sheriff.
He's on the scholarship committee for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and also serves on legislative, jail advisory and corporate liaison committees for the associations.
"It's very important to me to have a pulse on the community," he said. "Of course, I am only as good as the people who work for me."