If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of good things happening in Ellis County. Just pick up your local newspaper and see about the new businesses coming in and the expansions some of the established ones are working on.  When you hear or see of these good things, take a minute and give your local Chamber of Commerce a pat on the back. The Chambers are constantly working to bring good business neighbors into our area.

Another thing you will read about in the papers are our local neighbors, business and residence, becoming victims of crime. As good a place as Ellis County is to raise our families, we still have that small percentage of people that prey on the hard work of honest citizens.

Like you, the sheriff’s office realizes that a crime free society will probably never be a part of our lives. But that does not mean we should sit by being indifferent and taking no action to protect our families and property.

Many people have ask me my thoughts about concealed carry. I am a proponent of concealed carry. I believe every honest, law abiding, mentally competent person that will take the time to train in the proper use of a firearm should obtain a license. (I would also encourage that person to maintain a high level of skill through practice on the range and keeping up with the laws as they change.) However, protection of our families and property goes much farther than a  concealed carry license or the shotgun in the closet. As we say in law enforcement circles, we also want to “harden the target.”

The sheriff’s office is fortunate to have a small group of deputies that have received specialized training in crime prevention and home inspections. These guys will come and help you establish a neighborhood crime watch. They will evaluate your home to identify what you can do to “harden your target.” And, depending upon your homeowner insurance carrier, they can perform a home inspection that could get you a discount on your homeowners insurance.  These same deputies will ride the back roads and leave a courtesy note at your residence if they observe something that could unnecessarily cause you to become the victim of a thief.

We have said for years that fighting crime effectively can only be accomplished through the cooperative efforts of the citizens and their law enforcement. Please give these guys a call and let them meet with you to determine if there is something a little different you could be doing to protect your place.

The Crime Prevention Unit can be contacted by calling 972-825-4901 and asking for that unit. They are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on weekends by appointment.

Together we can make Ellis County a safer place to live.

Johnny Brown has served as Sheriff of Ellis County since Jan. 1, 2009, and is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute. He has been in law enforcement for 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.