October 9, 2010
by Joe Knight
Officers from outside agencies came together with Deputies from the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office Friday night, October 8 to assist with the latest phase of the ongoing NEST effort. This effort to combat methamphetamine abuse in Hunt County has been going on for several weeks. Joining the Sheriff’s Office were Officers from the Caddo Mills Police Department, Hunt County Constable Precinct One, the Texas A&M University Police Department and the Department of Public Safety.
Officers worked as a team moving throughout south Hunt County in a coordinated effort contacting suspected narcotics dealers and other homeowners alike combating Meth abuse with both enforcement and education. Sheriff MEEKS himself participated in the effort visiting suspected narcotics dealers and ordinary citizens alike. One special citizen caught the Sheriff’s attention after she emailed the tip line. “She told us how she feared for the safety of her children in the difficult environment in which she lives” stated MEEKS. “She is what law enforcement is all about”.
As the team moved through various neighborhoods, many ordinary citizens came out on their porches and into their front yards. Many shouted encouragement and appreciation to the Officers. One man drove to one of the neighborhoods to contact and thank the team after a friend had called him. It was at times almost surreal.
By the time the evening was complete, a dozen people were arrested. Offenses included everything from warrant arrests to new cases ranging from DWLI (Driving While License Invalid) to Unlawful Possession of a Firearm By A Felon. One person was arrested for Possession of A Controlled Substance after the discovery of more than 1 bag of a substance believed to be Methamphetamine. Additional narcotic arrests were made as well.
It has long been the assertion of the Sheriff’s Office that burglaries and narcotics are closely related. One narcotic arrest came with a bonus for Officers when they discovered what is believed to be another cache of stolen property. Included were several weapons, one of which was reported stolen right here from our own County. Interestingly enough, this incident began from an anonymous tip on the NEST website.
Most Hunt County narcotics distributors are what Law Enforcement routinely refer to street or mid level drug dealers. Someone somewhere makes a great deal of money in the drug trade, but most of these local dealers are often users as well. Many are surrounded by valuable items stolen from homes in Hunt and surrounding Counties, yet live in relative squalor.
Meth takes no prisoners. Here is another bottom line that we dare not miss. Meth has a tremendous human cost for the user as well. When Meth takes control of a life it steals your health and your family. It destroys your dignity and your future. It eventually leaves the abuser hopeless. We met one such person Friday night.
Deputies discovered him lying in the middle of a County Road in a residential area. He was highly impaired, admittedly from “smoking a bowl” earlier that day. He was not combative however, rather he was plaintive. The first words he said to our Deputy was “please take me to jail, I’m hungry”. I watched one of our veteran Deputies with pride as he treated this person with great respect as he took the suspect into custody. As he escorted him to the jail van he instructed the Corrections Officers to be sure and get him a sandwich.
Sheriff MEEKS wants to be certain and express his appreciation to all those other Agencies who helped in this endeavor. Special thanks as well goes out to the many who have shared valuable information, and continue to do so. Thanks as well to the SO employees.
I would like to express appreciation on a personal note as well if I may. Thank you for the great sacrifice made by so many in he Sheriff’s Office. Communications, Corrections, Bars, Stripes and Deputies; all worked side by side (and enjoyed more than a few laughs at the restaurant afterwards as well I might add) and all for a common cause. And you do it all for what is a relatively small financial award.
I know that you are often treated shall we say, less than kind by those who oppose you or do not understand. I am grateful for the dedication and energy of the young, and the wisdom of the seasoned who know when to be tough, and when to give a sandwich. That can’t be taught. It has to be learned.
When you get discouraged and wonder why you keep on going, please remember the children whose parents fear for their safety, and remember the good people all over this County who are out on their front porches, They are watching, and they appreciate what you do. I heard them say so!
So here we stand as Deputies, citizens, parents and grandparents desiring that our Children and Community remain safe from this destructive force…and so we fight on.