COLUMN: Thank you from the ECSO

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

I want to thank everyone on behalf of your Sheriff’s Office who attended Monday night’s candlelight vigil by the courthouse supporting law enforcement and tell you how much all of us appreciate the hundreds of people who turned out. There were folks from all parts of our county who joined us that evening and I was personally humbled by it.

Because we’re law enforcement, we don’t always make people happy. We may have to write someone a ticket; we may have to take them to jail. When we get a call, there’s almost always something bad going on and there are people needing help. We have to take whatever call comes our way because we don’t get to pick and choose which ones we’re going to answer. What if you called 9-1-1 and a dispatcher said, “Sorry, we are not coming because we’ve already been out to your house three times this month and we’re tired of responding to your problems this month.” That would be a pretty sorry way to handle law enforcement. That’s not what we do.

We make all calls whether they’re good or bad. Sometimes we don’t know until we get there. We get calls that turn out to be nothing, we get the calls that tax all our resources and we’re also responding to everything in between. Often times the calls are to the same address where we’re dealing with the same people and then we have those calls where someone needs to go to jail and the people who called for help turn on us and get mad because we’re now taking that person into custody: “I don’t want you to arrest him. I just want you to know we are fighting.” We’re working all day long with people who find themselves with something bad going on and the bad actors who are creating those situations – and then we have to go home to our families and act like it was the best day of our life at work because our kids want us to throw a ball around with them or attend their dance recital. It’s not easy at times, but law enforcement is where we’ve chosen to make our career.

From illegal trash dumping to homicides, deputies and police officers may see anything and everything all in a single shift. With all that may have transpired somewhere else before that law enforcement person gets to your call, there’s a chance he might be thinking still about that other person or family – and there’s a chance he may come across as rude or distant where you’re concerned. This isn’t a defense of any cop, but we are human. We can make mistakes, and we’ll get those addressed. We appreciate your understanding because truly the vast majority of us put our heart and soul into our profession. The bottom line is we’re here for you.

Again, I just want to thank everyone for your support of law enforcement. All of the phone calls and messages, the “hi, how are you doing?” and the “be safe out there” comments, all of that is appreciated. Just this week, we had a lady share with us how she saw a deputy over by one of the mother’s day out programs and saw one of the moms take her kids over to meet him. I’m here to tell you that meant a lot to that deputy. It means a lot to me.

We welcome the opportunity to share with you what law enforcement’s about. Your Sheriff’s Office has a ride-along program and we encourage people to participate in it to see what we do. The only requirements are you have to sign a waiver and pass a background check. If you’d like more information on how to do a ride-along, please contact Lt. James Saulter, who heads up our Patrol Division, at 972-825-4953 or james.saulter@co.ellis.tx.us.

Please, everyone, let’s keep our military and service personnel in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoy our rights and freedoms because of their service and safekeeping of our great nation. Y’all have a Blessed Week.

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 more than 20 years and holds a Master’s Peace Officer’s Certificate with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.