Sheriff Skinner is proud to report the following accomplishments during his first term in office. I must be said that these accomplishments would not have been possible were it not for the efforts of the tremendous group of men and women I am privileged to lead at the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.
First, the Sheriffs Office has implemented a plan to enlarge and reconfigure the Patrol Section. This will improve public and officer safety and reduce response times to calls for service from the 62,000 people who live in our 500-square-mile service area. The Commissioners’ Court approved the plan in adopting the FY 2018 budget in September 2017, and several cities and municipal utility districts are helping to fund this plan. The Patrol Section has hired 16 new deputies, who are in an academy or field training. Patrol is also adding three new K-9s and deputy handlers, and it is adding additional deputies with special weapons & tactics training to each patrol platoon. The Professional Standards Section (PSS) significantly revised the Field Officer Training program, and the Patrol Section is integrating new vehicles, firearms, and other new equipment into its operations. Overall, this project remains a work in progress.
Second, 2017 was a period of change in the Detention Center, and this will continue. The Sheriff and his executive staff have revised several key policies in order to reduce employee turnover. In 2017, the County hired, and the Detention Center is training, over 100 replacement detention officers (replacements, not a workforce increase). PSS is revising the Jail Officer Training program and we have created a new Training & Compliance Section in order to maintain quality control in all aspects of our jail operations. Additionally, our supervisors are reviewing work processes in intake, classification, and release to maintain and improve efficiency in meeting state standards under the growing workload. A joint program with the County’s Information Technology Department installed a new attorney-inmate video-visitation system, which will reduce the cost and workload in observing inmates’ constitutional rights. Also, another program was initiated that should save taxpayers $50,000 per year in the cost of delivering jail-library services.
Third, a new Fugitive Apprehension Team was established, whose mission is to capture dangerous fugitives who are wanted for outstanding 1st & 2nd degree felony charges in Collin County. In a collaborative effort with the US Marshal for the Eastern District of Texas, two deputies were assigned to work with deputy US Marshals, who since February 2017 have captured hundreds of Collin County’s fugitives. In 2017, Collin County Sheriff’s fugitive and warrant deputies have served or cleared over 1,000 felony warrants.
Fourth, consistent with the Sheriffs zero-tolerance policy regarding child sexual predators, a new Child Exploitation Unit was created. Two deputies now work full time—including in cooperation with other agencies—to track online child predators and traffickers of child pornography. In May 2017, the multi-agency operation Medusa resulted in 17 arrests on various child-exploitation charges. It also added over 750,000 images to the set of child-pornography images then known to law enforcement. In May 2018, working with Plano PD, the CEU investigated and arrested a suspect and seized devices containing approximately 58 TB of data related to child pornography.
Fifth, the Sheriffs of seven counties—including Grayson, Hunt, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise Counties, as well as Collin County—formed a mechanism to work collaboratively on various law-enforcement efforts across our county lines. For example, specialized highway interdiction deputy sheriffs from across this seven-county region now work hand-in-hand to identify and stop organized criminals, who are transporting narcotics, weapons, cash—or even persons in human trafficking—on highways. This North Texas Sheriff’s Criminal Interdiction Unit not only extends the deputies’ geographic reach into every cooperating county, but also improves their exchange of operational knowledge and intelligence. Since becoming operational on December 1, 2017, the sheriffs deputies have seized the following drug money and contraband that would otherwise have profited criminals and eventually would up on the streets of our community:
- $1,588,459 U.S. currency,
- 1,953 lbs. marijuana,
- 56 lbs. cocaine,
- 312 lbs. methamphetamine,
- 98 lbs. heroin,
- 8.6 lbs. THC edibles,
- 12 pints Codeine,
- 4 automatic weapons,
- .25 lbs. fentanyl,
- 12 prohibited weapons,
- 31 stolen vehicles
The drugs have an estimated street value of $18.8 million. Deputy sheriffs from the NTXCIU also arrested 114 persons, including two capital-murder fugitives, confiscated four illegal fully automatic weapons, recovered eight stolen vehicles, and most importantly, our deputies recovered two missing or abducted children.
Sixth, our Communications Center (9-1-1 and dispatch) has now relocated to a larger, more secure workspace and—in conjunction with the North Central Texas Council of Governments—has added new dispatch consoles and equipment to serve our growing population. The Center plans to add three new licensed telecommunicators in FY 2018. With changes in work processes and training, dispatchers are now providing deputies and police officers in the field with more information than ever to assist them when responding to calls for service or investigating incidents in the field. Telecommunicators are too often our unsung heroes.
Lastly, recognizing the value of developing criminal intelligence inside the jail to help deter and solve felony crimes, the Sheriffs Office recently created a Detention Intelligence Unit. The DIU works closely with our criminal investigators and analysts from our Fusion Center to gather and disseminate actionable intelligence. This winter, members of the DIU were instrumental in developing intelligence that led to the arrest of four individuals charged with the capital murder of a Princeton woman.
Sheriff Skinner and the deputies and staff in the Field Operations and Detention Divisions of the Collin County Sheriff’s Office again thank the Collin County Commissioners’ Court for its strong support of public safety in the FY 2018 budget. They supported the plan to enlarge and reconfigure the Patrol Section, implemented certification and special-units pay, increased the training budget, funded the standardization of firearms and ammunition, funded other improvements for personnel and equipment and supported our plan to implement a criminal interdiction unit. All this serves to help us make our communities safer places to live.
Pol. Adv. paid for by the Jim Skinner Campaign, Charlie O'Reilly, Treasurer.