WAXAHACHIE — The Ellis County Commissioners Court has given Sheriff Chuck Edge another resource as he begins his plan for improvements to the office. The court approved an administrative lieutenant position for the agency at its Tuesday afternoon meeting.

The lieutenant position will assist with the audit the sheriff’s office is undergoing through the Texas Police Chiefs Association Best Practices program and would also aid Ellis County Capt. Chuck Laubach who is in the administrative division of the sheriff’s office.

“One of the things that I saw quick and was really obvious was that Capt. Laubach had so much on his plate, and I was fixing to add more to it because we are going for recognition and have contacted the Texas Police Chief’s Foundation. That is almost going to be a full-time position to get that program going,” Edge explained. “Obviously that would fit in the preview of an administrative lieutenant or an administrative captain, so that is why I wanted to put that position over there. Additionally, the Internal Affairs is over there. Captain Laubach gave me a list of all he did. As we go down this road and we start investigating and finding things that we need to change and that we need to fix he is going to be a key party to that. It just continues to take him away from the things that he is doing.”

Edge said this position would help to lighten the load of Laubach and improve the overall community relations of the department.

Ellis County Judge Carol Bush shared Edge’s thoughts about this position and why it’s needed.

“I don’t find it very surprising that we should have a request like this at this point with someone coming in and evaluating the department,” Bush said. “I trust that the sheriff has identified some needs and weaknesses and is addressing those.”

Ellis County Pct. 3 Commissioner Lane Grayson moved to approve the request and Ellis County Pct. 4 Commissioner Kyle Butler seconded it. The court then adopted the motion unanimously.

Bush announced to the court that the Wayne McCollum Detention Center operated by the sheriff’s office had passed inspection "with flying colors" from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. The county received notification of the results of the inspection on Friday.

According to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards website, the duty of the commission to promulgate reasonable written rules and procedures establishing minimum standards, inspection procedures, enforcement policies and technical assistance for:

• The construction, equipment, maintenance, and operation of jail facilities under its jurisdiction;

• The custody, care and treatment of inmates;

• Programs of rehabilitation, education, and recreation for inmates confined in county and municipal jail facilities under its jurisdiction.

Bush thanked Terry Ogden, who holds the position of captain over detention services, for the hard work put in by him and his staff.

Edge shared Bush’s thoughts about the recent inspection and praised the work carried out by his team.

“It was one of those things that I knew that was coming but I didn’t know it was going to be in the first week that I was there. I also knew that I had Capt. Ogden and the staff,” Edge said. “I can’t take any credit for this at all. It is the wonderful staff up there. Their desire and passion are great.”

In other business the court,

• Approved a request to release a performance bond issued to Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company totaling $1,879,222 and accepted the maintenance bond from Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company totaling $751,689 for phase one of the Legacy Estates located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Midlothian.

• Approved a request to abandon 27 lots and the dedicated public areas and rights of way of the Timarron Estates Subdivision.

• Approved a resolution to support the designation of the alignment of State Loop 9 freeway between Interstate Highway 35E and Interstate Highway 45.

• Approved to ratify the Dunbar Armored Car change of address for the Midlothian Tax Office.

• Approved to award the bid for hot mix asphalt types B, C, D and sand.

• Took no action to enact a burn ban.

• Approved the application of Clay Sparks to serve of the Emergency Services District 3 Board to an unexpired term through Dec. 31.

• Approved the county emergency plans for Annex T that pertains donations management for the county.

• Approved for Bush to sign the updated contract with the Army Corps of Engineers.

• Discussed county roads evaluations for the annual Ellis County precinct road reporting.

• Approved pothole repairs on Burkett, Carol Lane, High Meadows and Glenbrook in the City of Pecan Hill.

• Approved the reappointment of purchasing agent Jodi Platt for a two-year term.


Contact Andrew at abranca@waxahachietx.com or 469-517-1451. Follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AndrewBrancaWDL or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AndrewBrancaWNI.