Currently, there are 46 sworn peace officers that are assigned to work in the Patrol Division. These officers patrol the 896 square miles of Bastrop County. The County is divided into 4 patrol sectors with each sector having 2 patrol districts.
The Patrol Deputies are responsible for responding to calls for service, assisting motorists, enforcing traffic laws and interacting with the community. Additionally, these officers assist other municipal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The Sheriff’s Office provides continuous community coverage seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Our deputies are required to actively enforce federal, state and local laws in a responsible and professional manner. This is to be done without regard to race, ethnicity, or national origin.
Deputies are assigned to areas on a regular basis so they can become familiar with the people and surroundings in their district. We believe this allows the deputies and the citizens to form a partnership and will have a positive impact in the county as well as help to suppress criminal activities. Although the deputies are assigned mainly to one district, they will also respond, patrol and assist other district deputies as well. It is the policy of the Sheriff’s Office that officers be prepared to effectively manage the full spectrum of law enforcement challenges.
On average, the Patrol Division receives approximately 3,650 calls per month and received 43,993 calls in 2013. Additionally, they generated approximately 530 offense reports each month, issued 2,182 traffic citations and investigated 435 vehicle crashes.
The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office has 2 Estray Deputies. An “estray” is a valuable domestic animal which has strayed from its owner. Chapter 142 of the Texas Agriculture Code provides that a person who finds an estray must report the presence to the Sheriff. The Sheriff is responsible for locating and notifying the owner, impoundment of the animal if necessary, and sale of the animal if the owner cannot be determined. The Estray Deputies are also responsible for Cruelty to Animal investigations. The Deputies also assist with evidence and person searches. The Sheriff is further responsible for investigating criminal violations of the Agriculture Code, generally in cooperation with the USDA and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. The Estray Deputies continue to work closely with adoption agencies to find homes for goats, donkeys, and horses that are unclaimed.
The Bastrop County SWAT team provides a highly trained and skilled Tactical Team as a resource for this office to utilize in the handling of critical incidents or special circumstances. The mission of the Bastrop County SWAT Team is to support the other divisions within the department, and any other law enforcement agency requesting a tactical response to a critical incident. The goal of the unit is to accomplish each mission without injury or death resulting from the unit’s intervention.
Critical incidents include but are not limited to:
- Hostage Situations: The holding of any person against their will by an armed, potentially armed, or dangerous suspect.
- Barricade Situations: The standoff created by an armed or potentially armed suspect in any location, whether fortified or not, who is refusing to comply with police demands for surrender.
- Sniper Situations: The firing upon citizens and/or police by an armed suspect, who may be stationary or mobile.
- Apprehension: The arrest or apprehension of armed or potentially armed suspects where there is the likelihood of resistance.
- High Risk Warrant Service: The service of search or arrest warrants where there is the likelihood of potentially dangerous individuals or armed resistance.
- Dignitary Protection: The security of special persons based on the potential threat to those persons.
- Special Events: Any incident that demonstrates additional logistical requirements beyond normal operations of this office.
The Bastrop County SWAT team is comprised of 11 deputies and 1 Elgin Police Officer who volunteer for this additional responsibility. Within the team there is designated a Team Commander, a Team Leader, and two Assistant Team Leaders.
The Negotiations team is comprised of employees that are Deputies, Investigators, Dispatchers and Jailers. This team is used in incidents when subjects are barricaded.
The Sheriff's Office has a large bus previously used as an incident command bus. This bus will provide a safe, more comfortable working area during an extended negotiations event.
The photo to the left shows team members using a Throw Phone. This system is crucial to communicating with a barricaded subject. The system has a phone that is wired back to a small console. The phone is thrown into the home of the barricaded subject and repeated phone calls are made from the console in an attempt to make contact with the subject. At times this is the only form of communication there is with the subject. The Sheriff’s Office recently purchased a wireless version of this system that can be hooked up to any cell phone to make contact with the subject.