Sheriff’s Corner by Sheriff Kirby Brumby
The Goliad County Sheriff’s Office works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Dispatch is always manned; the jail is always staffed; and deputies are always patrolling. Other county offices and departments, except EMS, basically work 8 to 5 and shut down for nights, holidays and weekends. We are always open.
The court approves the number of employees each office or department can have. Currently I have positions for 8 patrol deputies which is what it takes to have at least 2 deputies on duty at all times -- 24/7, a commercial vehicle enforcement officer, and a court security/civil process server. I also have a chief deputy, a captain of patrol/investigations supervisor, and an investigator. Whenever a deputy, dispatcher or jailer is out for illness, vacation, injury or training someone has to fill that position, usually being paid overtime. In a small law enforcement agency there are no extra employees. When no other employee can fill the vacancies, supervisors have to do it. All supervisors have administrative responsibilities which take their normally paid time. Emergencies and unexpected demands on time have to be handled; and shifts have to be covered.
Commissioners’ Court has provided overtime lines in the budget because this is a necessary expense in the SO budget. Other offices give comp time which is calculated as time and a half like overtime, but comp time is not budgeted which becomes a problem for offices when that employee leaves because they are then paid for those hours (an unbudgeted liability).
A county holiday seems like a straight forward idea – employees are paid for that day but don’t come to work (Christmas, Thanksgiving, fair day, etc.) In the SO it is more complicated. All employees receive the holiday pay for 8 hours, but those employees that have to work, since we can’t close the doors and lock the office, are paid overtime. To run the jail for that 24 hours takes a minimum of four, to run dispatch a minimum of three, and patrol a minimum of four deputies. Unfortunately, holidays are not a time out from accidents, crime, and other calls for service.
Border Star, another source of overtime, is a yearly grant from the state to work extra patrols. This must be over and above a deputy’s regular time and so is overtime which my budget is to be reimbursed from the grant. I encourage deputies to work as much Border Star overtime as they can in order to make full use of this grant.
All timesheets are approved every two weeks. The main supervisors’ times – chief deputy, jail administrator and dispatch supervisor – are approved by me. Supervisors then approve the timesheets of employees under them. When a question arose about the chief deputy’s 2015 pay, all her timesheets were examined and compared to dispatch logs. Deputies must work an average of 43 hours per week before overtime applies; the chief worked an average of 59 hours per week. That time was approved by me.
I feel the community wants officers to answer every call for service and wants at least two deputies on duty at all times. Previously this was not the case. But my policy is to answer every call and to always have two deputies on duty, for the safety of the officer and the community, even if it is overtime.
Non Emergencies Dial:
Emergencies Dial: 911
Goliad County Sheriff's Office, 701 E. End St., Goliad, TX 77963
County of Goliad
Sheriff Kirby Brumby