Ellis County Sheriff's Office website

Welcome to the Ellis County Sheriff's Office website. This is another avenue, for me as your Sheriff, to help keep you informed of what is happening in your County and YOUR Sheriff's Office. Please visit the site often for updates.

 

Mission

The mission of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is to provide professional law enforcement services to citizens and visitors of Ellis County. This Office will strive to enforce the law and maintain order in a fair and impartial manner.

The Sheriff and his Deputies recognize that no law enforcement agency can operate at its maximum potential without supportive input from the citizens it serves. This Office actively solicits and encourages the cooperation of all citizens to reduce criminal activity and within legal limits, to assist in bringing to justice those that prey on the person and property of others.

 

Message from the Sheriff

When you elected me as your Sheriff I promised a new philosophy for the office and changes that would enhance county law enforcement services to you. This website is just one example of the updating we are doing. It is my goal for you to be able to learn of the services available and to provide contact information should you need help from the Sheriff's Office.

Since taking office in 2009 and with the help of Ellis County citizens, we have reduced major crime in Ellis County by 55 percent (figures reported through 2013). Your Sheriff's Office has the only active narcotics unit in the county to attack local drug issues. We have more marked units on the county roads and highways, have initiated an air wing, marine unit, opened up 288 more beds in the jail, started charging inmates a co-pay for medical services, have put more inmates out on county roads picking up trash and started a vegetable garden (worked by inmates), to name a few. And we have done all this with the same budget the retired sheriff had in 2008.

Come by and visit. Let me know you are coming and I will have hot coffee or iced tea ready for you. My direct office number is 972-825-4901.

 

ECSO Communications Division honored


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO Communications Division honored

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 30, 2014

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division was recently recognized with two major awards and five nominations during the annual PSAP Supervisor Meeting at the North Central Texas Council of Government Regional 9-1-1 offices in Arlington. The recognitions were extended for telecommunications work from Sept. 1, 2013-Aug. 31, 2014. 

Communication Team of the Year

ECSO telecommunicators Heidi Smith, Jeff Shepherd and Gloria Myers were honored as Communication Team of the Year for their exemplary performance during the Milford pipeline explosion Nov. 14, 2013. The team has more than 38 combined years of experience working for ECSO: Smith is a 19-year veteran, Shepherd, an 11-year veteran, and Myers, an 8-year veteran. All hold Master Telecommunicator certificates, the highest level possible, with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

“Within 20 minutes after the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office had received the first call of an unknown type explosion at an unspecific location, dispatch had notified the initial responders for law enforcement, fire departments, EMS, pipeline representatives and other county divisions; had received a location and incident update and relayed it to all responding personnel; had contacted other agencies to assist with a perimeter and the evacuation of Milford had started,” ECSO Communications Supervisor (Days) Carla Rolland wrote in her nomination letter for the team.

“Requests kept coming in from the responders and the phones kept ringing from concerned citizens about the pipeline explosion and evacuations, along with unrelated calls for service,” Rolland wrote. “No one (in dispatch) had to be guided or told what to do.  Everyone pulled together, getting their designated responsibilities and requests completed, and helping each other out in any way they could. Even though the incident itself was chaotic and made for a very busy day, dispatch was orderly and calm during the entire shift – just as it would be with any routine incident.”

“It went really smooth,” said Smith of the team, which has worked together since 2007. “We were in sync with each other and didn’t have to say anything to each other. We just did it.”

In addition to dispatching deputies, police, fire and other first responders to the scene, the team had to contact all of the pipeline owners in the area along with various regulatory agencies. At the same time, they were trying to ascertain what had happened with the pipeline workers who had been on site at the explosion. “They made it to safety and there was a sigh of relief no one was injured,” Shepherd said of the crew, which had made its way to Navarro County and contacted authorities there.

Besides all of the radio traffic it was handling and the calls it was making, the team was fielding calls from media as well as directing calls from other police and fire agencies that wanted to assist any way they could. “They were calling in and asking, ‘What can we do to help?’ ” Myers said.

To the person, the team members say they love what they do as telecommunicators.

“It truly is not knowing what call you are getting. It’s never the same,” Smith said, with Myers adding, “You can pick up a 9-1-1 call and it’s not an emergency, or you can pick up the non-emergency line and there’s someone screaming. It could be anything.”

The recognition for ECSO telecommunicators extended beyond the Communication Team of the Year award, with a second ECSO team recognized as a nominee in the same category. In making her nomination, ECSO Communication Supervisor (Nights) Becky Rodgers commended the trio of telecommunicators Nancy Brinker, Brandy Songer and Caitlin McClelland for their work during a November 2013 incident involving a triple homicide.

“This team stayed calm and worked together as one unit in a very professional manner,” Rodgers said. “I am very proud to be this shift’s supervisor. The whole team has a positive attitude and strives to do their very best every night they work. This shift is always willing to help coworkers in any way they can.”

Brinker, who has 17 years of experience as a telecommunicator, will have served 16 of those with ECSO as of this April. “We were able to get enough information from the multiple calls so that a suspect could be taken into custody, and that’s rewarding,” she said. “It gives you satisfaction when you get those calls where people need help and you can help them.”

McClelland, who has been with ECSO for 1-1/2 years, agrees, saying, “To me, the biggest reward of that call was being able to get the info out quickly,” to which eight-year veteran Songer adds, “We worked well as a team. We always do.”

9-1-1 Professional Award

ECSO telecommunicator Jennifer Pitts was honored with the 9-1-1 Professional Award. Pitts has served as a telecommunicator since 2010 and joined ECSO in 2011. She attained her Advanced Telecommunicator certificate with TCOLE in October.

In her letter of nomination, Rodgers described Pitts as showing “extraordinary abilities in all aspects of her job.”

“She is a soft spoken young lady but can take control of a 9-1-1 call in a matter of seconds,” Rodgers said. “Ms. Pitts goes out of her way to make everyone feel like they are the most important person in the world while she is dealing with them. It does not matter if it is a distraught caller, a coworker or someone wanting to make an animal control complaint.”

“I can’t see myself doing anything else,” Pitts says. “There’s something new every day. You get to be in the middle of everything that is going on – and you get to help people.”

Telecommunicator of the Year

ECSO telecommunicator Kristie Brewer, an 11-year veteran with the agency, was recognized as a nominee for the Telecommunicator of the Year award.

In her nominating letter, Rodgers commended Brewer for her handling of a 9-1-1 call with a suicidal subject in April 2014, saying, “Ms. Brewer showed a great amount of compassion and professionalism, and talked the caller into putting down the knife she was holding. This is only one of the calls Ms. Brewer has excelled in handling. Every call she receives is handled with the utmost professionalism.”

“When someone makes a call for help, they need a compassionate person on the end of the line,” said Brewer, who has an Advanced Telecommunicator certificate with TCOLE. “And I’ll talk with them until we can get them help.”

A 13-year veteran, of which 11 years have been with ECSO, Brewer said she enjoys what she does, even with the stressful calls that may come her way. “Sometimes the calls get me down but I have to let it roll off of my back,” she said.

Supervisor of the Year

ECSO Communications Supervisor (Nights) Becky Rodgers was recognized as a nominee for Supervisor of the Year. Rodgers has served with ECSO since 1997 and holds Master Telecommunicator, Instructor and TCIC/NCIC Instructor certificates with TCOLE. She also serves as a Supervisor Terminal Agency Coordinator for ECSO.

“I was really surprised and had no idea,” Rodgers said of the nomination honor. “I’ve loved the work through all these years and I can’t picture myself doing anything else.” 

ECSO Communications Division

The ECSO Communications Division is one of 40-plus public safety-answering points eligible to make a nomination for these annual honors, which are extended by the NCTCOG Regional 9-1-1 program.

The ECSO Communications Division handles 9-1-1 and non-emergency service for the unincorporated areas of Ellis County as well as several cities within the county. It also facilitates 24-hour communications between county residents and sheriff’s deputies as well as EMS/Fire personnel.

All ECSO dispatchers carry Telecommunication Operator licenses with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. They all hold TCIC/NCIC certifications and receive specialized training in computer-aided dispatch through ECSO’s in-house training department.

  

Cutline info:

Photo 1: From left, Kelly Williams, North Central Texas Council of Governments; Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Telecommunicators Jennifer Pitts, Becky Rodgers, Gloria Myers, Heidi Smith and Jeff Shepherd; and Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

Photo 2: From left, Nancy Brinker, Caitlin McClelland and Nancy Songer.

Photo 3: Kristie Brewer.

 

Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

ECSO issues scam alert

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO issues scam alert

Waxahachie, Texas – Nov. 26, 2014

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is warning people to beware an unidentified male suspect who is calling elderly residents and trying to scare them into sending him money. The suspect has called at least four people in recent days and told them he is with the ECSO Civil and Warrants Division. The suspect then tells them he has a warrant for their arrest on a charge of contempt for failing to show up for jury duty.

The suspect tells them that, unless they send him a prepaid PayPal card in the amount of $497.57 to cover the warrant’s fine, he will show up at their house and arrest them. The suspect has used the name of ECSO personnel and also told residents he is working with the District Clerk’s Office.

“This is an outright scam,” ECSO Criminal Investigation Division Sgt. Phil Slaughter says. “We know of four people so far who have been contacted by him. Fortunately, none of them sent him any money. They all contacted us first.”

The investigation has determined that the calls from the cell phone being used in the scam are originating out of the state of Georgia. “We want to get the word out that this is a scam. We don’t want anyone to be victimized,” Slaughter says. “The Sheriff’s Office doesn’t call people to tell them they have a warrant – and we never try to collect money for a warrant. That’s not our practice.”

Anyone who may have received a phone call from the scam artist is asked to contact Slaughter at 972-825-4965.


Media contact: Jo Ann Livingston

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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