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Sheriff William Travis gives update

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

Denton County Sheriff William Travis presented his version of the “state of the union address” before Commissioners Court on Tuesday morning.

The report, Travis said during a phone interview, was to present what had been going on within the Denton County Sheriff’s Office since he took over Jan. 1.

“I just wanted to provide the commissioners and the taxpayers of this county with an update on the progress we are making at the sheriff’s office,” Travis said.

A presentation showed various statistics achieved in the first quarter, including the Drug Enforcement Unit helping to remove more than $9.7 million worth of drugs from the streets. Travis said some of the drugs confiscated included methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

“This was a joint effort with the Drug Enforcement Administration; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and other area agencies,” Travis said. “You really have strength in numbers, and getting everyone to work together is what it’s all about.”

Commissioner Hugh Coleman noted that never before has the Commissioners Court had a state of the union by the sheriff’s office.

“I think one of the things I like is he has told me personally he is going to put more emphasis on patrol,” Coleman said, adding that that is important to him because he represents a large area that is unincorporated.

Travis has said multiple times that he wants to give everyone a chance to move up by promoting from within the department. He said there is no reason to hire from the outside when there are so many deserving men and women already employed.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sandi Brackeen said the office has promoted 31 people since Travis took office.

“I like that he is working to promote from within where possible,” County Judge Mary Horn said. “We’ve got a lot of employees who have served Denton County for a long time, so as long as people are qualified, I like to see that happening.”

During the beginning of his administration, Travis implemented a new badge and uniform for his employees. During this time, he held a contest for his employees to design a new patch for the sheriff’s office, offering $200 cash to the winning design.

The new patch designed by Detention Cpl. George Foster was unveiled to the commissioners, as well.

“It’s nice to have the report; obviously, they have been very busy,” Horn said.

Travis said he is looking forward to providing as much transparency during his administration as possible.

“I look forward to doing these [reports] again,” Travis said. “All my employees have tremendous amounts of talent, and we will go far.”

Staff writer Bj Lewis contributed to this report.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.