Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dripping Reality Check: Our Sheriff's Department

If you live here, you know that Dripping Springs does not have a police department. Dripping Springs -- home to nearly 20,000 in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) -- relies solely on the Hays County Sheriff's Department, a force responsible for one of the fast-growing counties in the nation. Currently, Hays stands at a population of around 150,000. But did you know that the deputies in Hays County have started at a lower pay and stayed at a lower salary longer than other Central Texas law enforcement agencies? And did you know that Hays County deputies have had to buy their own uniforms?

Not surprisingly, Hays County has had a pretty tough time filling vacancies in the department.

This past May a reasonable pay raise was granted by the county (which will also now be picking up the tab on the uniforms). The changes will go into effect this fall, but it is shameful that getting to that point was such a struggle. (It's the uniform thing that really gets me).

These are the men and women who protect and serve us in Dripping Springs and they need our support. A way to start is by signing a petition to allow them a representative at the county commissioners court. Someone with the authority to represent their interests.

The Babble has been informed that off-duty officers will be stationed at Wimberley Market Days this weekend (Saturday, August 4th) to get signatures on their petition. I know it's irritating when one of them hides up by Flores (the original, true Flores) to bust us speeding through town, but we shouldn't be speeding, really. If you're at Market Days this weekend, please take a moment and sign the petition.