1,600 square miles to go before they sleep
By Robin Scott
The Dallam County Sheriff’s Office is made up of Sheriff Bruce Scott and four full-time deputies. Together, the group has the onerous task of patrolling one of the larger counties within the state of Texas, covering approximately 1.3 million acres. The task has become somewhat less burdensome with the recent addition of Dallam County’s newest deputy, Paul Rowell, who joins Chief Deputy Kevin Martin and deputies Jarrett Sides and Jack Reynolds.
Also alleviating the difficulty of covering such a large area is the addition of a 2010 Chevy Quad Cab Silverado Pick Up patrol vehicle. The Dallam County Commissioners made the decision to add the vehicle so that all of the deputies would have their own and not have to share. When a squad car or patrol vehicle is shared among officers it stays running and in service for 16 hours or more at a time, hastening its lifespan.
According to Sheriff Scott, “We have a fleet of five vehicles which allows us to better service the community.” Each vehicle is equipped with radar, an MDT (mobile data terminal), cage and lights. Transforming a regular pick up truck into a police vehicle falls into the expert hands of Cop Stuff, an emergency vehicle outfitting company in Van Alstyne, Texas that receives vehicles directly from dealerships to get them ready for entry into a police force. Van Alstyne, a mere wide spot on Texas Highway 75, midway between McKinney and Sherman, is known for the quality police vehicles it sends out all over the state. Sheriff Scott noted, “We receive our decals for the trucks from Lubbock, and we send them to Cop Stuff, and they put those on as well.”
The MDT’s keep the Sheriff and the deputies apprised of up-to-the minute information on Texas drivers. Each MDT has its own printer and the deputies are able to print tickets, warnings and building checks right from their patrol units. They are also able to write their reports on their MDT’s, saving them numerous hours in front of a computer at the Sheriff’s Office.
Dallam, Hartley and Moore Counties all use COPsync, Inc., a software development company dedicated to supporting law enforcement agencies and their officers, and what is used for the MDT’s. Their state-of-the-art equipment that makes the interior of the vehicles look like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, keeps the officers prepared and safe.
Sheriff Scott noted, “We can tell the difference that our new deputy makes for us. We can provide better coverage of the entire county, and if one of us is off duty, he can actually enjoy his off duty time.” Each of the deputies regularly patrols the 35 miles from north to south and 57 ½ miles from East to West within the county, an area the equivalent to the size of Rhode Island. Their bright white trucks are a comforting sight for many.