Friday, December 9, 2011

The backlog that wasn't.

Excellent reporting by the Texas Watchdog today on Sheriff Garcia's on-again/off-again warrant back-log:

(Poof! Harris County Sheriff's Office backlog disappears, Steve Miller, Texas Watchdog)
A reported backlog of warrants at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office has suddenly cleared up, thanks to a statement from the office that there is no backlog.

The Houston Chronicle reported in November that 30,000 misdemeanor and felony warrants were not part of the database that state law enforcement uses to catch scofflaws both casual and serious.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia said at the time he would need a dozen staffers to clear up the problem and that the situation put his deputies at risk in the streets.
I remember when this came out, there were dire predictions of hardened criminals running loose in the streets, Sheriff Garcia all but predicted doom if his department didn't get more money.

Oops...
But now the office says that some of the numbers it put out were right --- it claims there is still a list of 19,748 misdemeanor warrants yet to be entered --- but that, oops, it made a mistake on the felony number of 10,088.


The article goes on to quote County Judge Ed Emmett, who chastises Garcia (rightly) for playing politics with public safety.

The good thing about Sheriff Garcia's election was that it cleaned out the department which had devolved into a "good ol' boys club" under the rule of Tommy Thomas. The bad thing is that, it appears, Harris County has elected someone into the office who lacks the qualities required for good leadership. This next election would be a good time to fix that, although it's HARD to vote out a County incumbent so I've serious doubts that this will happen.

A more likely result is that the InterLeft, running around with their hair on fire and a fresh dose of daily outrage, will accuse Emmett of 'playing politics' and bemoan the fact that someone more to their liking isn't in charge. (read: A Democrat). For me, I don't care if the replacement is a Democrat or a Republican, just get someone in who can properly administer the department, ensure that public safety levels are maintained, and who is competent. That should be the minimum standard for Sheriff regardless of party. Thomas couldn't do it, Garcia is now displaying the ability, so it's time for someone else.






Thanks to Texas Watchdog for their Community Commons license which allows for ample blockquoting.

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