Calhoun County deputies sent to Capitol to aid with inauguration security

Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office members sent to Washington include, from left, Lt. Joe Garcia, Investigator James Tolar, Deputy Wesley McKelvey and Deputy Robert Montero. K-9 Officer Dakota Smith, who also traveled to the capitol, is not pictured.

Five members of the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office are in Washington to help with presidential inauguration security, Crossroads officials said Tuesday.

The five county law enforcement officials will be joining others from across the nation and 25,000 National Guard troops in providing security as President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the U.S.

Increased security measures are a reaction to the attempted insurrection by pro-Trump extremists on Jan. 6. However, the trip to help was arranged almost nine months ago, Chief Deputy Johnny Krause said.

“We were making these plans before everything that happened recently,” said Krause, who turned down the offer to go.

With the increased security, Sheriff Bobbie Vickery said his office’s members are feeling the gravity of the moment.

“I do think they are nervous,” he said. “But they are also honored to be there.”

Precinct 5 Constable Dave Thomas, who Vickery said helped organize the trip, was the one to offer the opportunity to the office. The sheriff added that travel and boarding costs are covered by a federal fund.

Krause and Vickery said they do not know what their members will be doing, Krause adding that it is likely to remain confidential until after the inauguration.

“They could be helping with traffic, helping escort or posted up somewhere. We have not heard yet,” Krause said. “With the increased attention and word of possible trouble, I doubt we will find out until they return to tell us about it.”

Sheriff’s office members Lt. Joe Garcia, Investigator James Tolar, K-9 Deputy Dakota Smith and deputies Wesley McKelvy and Robert Montero. Upon arrival in the capital, the deputies took an oath to serve to the fullest extend of their duties.

The five are planned to return on Thursday.

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Chase Rogers covers breaking news and public safety for The Victoria Advocate. He graduated from Texas State University with a bachelor's in mass communications and journalism. Chase can be reached at 361-574-1286, crogers@vicad.com or on Twitter.

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Breaking News & Public Safety Reporter

"I am a North Texas native who has a passion for storytelling. Having graduated from Texas State University in May 2020, I am privileged to work with the Advocate staff and contribute to their tireless effort to inform the communities of the Crossroads."

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