ECSO recognizes two for their years of service


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

ECSO recognizes two for their years of service

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 23, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office recognized two members for their years of service upon their leaving the agency during the month of December.

Peter Steuer (shown above left) served with the Sheriff’s Office from 2003 to 2015. He was previously with the Texas Department of Public Safety, where he started his law enforcement career in 1979. Steuer has returned to service with the DPS, where he will work as a Special Ranger.

After 14 years of service with the Ellis County Sheriff's Office, Investigator Glen Smith (shown above right) has joined the Lampasas County Sheriff's Office.

Going away parties were held for both, with their Ellis County colleagues dropping by the main station to visit and swap stories – and wish them well with their future endeavors.


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

 

Sheriff warns about scam targeting elderly residents


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sheriff warns about scam targeting elderly residents

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 23, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is advising people to be aware of a scam that is currently going around and is believed to have international ties.

These calls are primarily targeting the elderly, who are told they have to send money via Western Union or a Walmart Green Dot Bank card. Investigation of the contact phone numbers being given the targeted residents shows the calls have an international origin.

The Sheriff’s Office has received a half-dozen reports about this scam, which involves an unknown suspect calling a resident and demanding money. The majority of the demands have said the intended victim’s grandchild is in jail and needs bail money; however, one of the demands said the intended victim’s granddaughter had been taken and a ransom had to be sent before she would be returned.

All of the targets subsequently contacted their family members and learned there was no incident and their grandchildren were OK; however, one of them did not do so until after he had sent money to the scammer. The Sheriff’s Office advises that anyone who receives such a phone call to contact their family members first and before responding to the demand.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking that people please spread the word that this scam is occurring and, if someone gets a phone call of this nature, to contact family members before sending any money anywhere. People need to be leery of anyone who calls and demands money, including if the voice on the phone says they’re with law enforcement. Law enforcement does not call people and demand they send money via Western Union or a Walmart Green Dot Bank card – that is not how law enforcement operates.

Again, if you receive such a call – before you do anything – you need to contact family members and determine their whereabouts. If they’re OK, you can ignore the call as having come from a scammer. If there is a reason you believe the call is legitimate, you need to contact your law enforcement agency and get them involved.

 

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

 

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office recognizes Camryn’s K9s for donations


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office recognizes Camryn’s K9s for donations

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 18, 2015

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office honored Camryn Samuel for her work in securing ballistic vests for its two K9 units, with a special presentation held during the Nov. 24 meeting of the Ellis County Commissioners Court. Presenting Camryn with a plaque in recognition of her efforts, Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown read from the plaque’s inscription:

“In honor of her selflessness and dedication to police service canines, this award is presented to Camryn’s K9s for her outstanding support of the Ellis County Sheriff's Office Canine Unit. Camryn, your donation of two ballistic vests will provide our dogs a measure of safety they would not have had if not for your efforts. You are a true champion for police service dogs and, on behalf of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, we extend our gratitude and a heartfelt thank you for your support.”

Camryn said the idea to equip police K9s with ballistic vests came about after her mom asked her on her 10th birthday if she’d like to donate money to a charity. After being unable to find a local nonprofit that did this, they reached out to the Cedar Hill Police Department. After learning that agency had two K9s in need of a vest, Camryn began raising the money to outfit both with the equipment. She said she was then challenged by members of the area K9 training group – which includes the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Mansfield Police Department and Waxahachie Police Department, along with the Cedar Hill Police Department – to outfit each agency’s K9 units. A little over a year since she first started her project, Camryn has raised more than $8,000 and equipped all seven K9s in the area training group with ballistic vests.

Assisted by her parents Bobby and Kristen Samuel of Mansfield and sister Caitlyn, Camryn has held T-shirt sales and set out jars among other fundraising efforts. She says she plans to continue raising money and is working to identify other law enforcement agencies that have a K9 in need of a ballistic vest.

“Right now, I’m finished with all seven dogs (in the area K9 training group) and I hope to do a lot more,” Camryn told the commissioners court.

  

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

 

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division honored by NCTCOG


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division honored by NCTCOG

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 17, 2015

The North Central Texas Council of Governments recently held its annual awards ceremony, with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division receiving several recognitions. Sixteen counties and multiple city agencies have dispatch centers in the NCTCOG region.

Sheriff’s Office telecommunicator Debra Murray was named NCTCOG Telecommunicator of the Year. Murray’s nomination was for her handling of a June 2015 call from a homeowner reporting someone was trying to break into the residence. Murray was on the line with the caller when she heard gunshots; she immediately dispatched units to the area and coordinated a multi-agency response to the scene. From start to finish, the incident lasted about three hours, culminating when a suspect was taken into custody.

“This is a team thing,” Murray said of her work. “I may have taken the call, but they (her co-workers) kept dispatch flowing. We all contributed to it. I just happened to be the one that answered it.”

Murray started her dispatch career with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office in 2008. She holds an advanced telecommunicator certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Ellis County Sheriff’s Office telecommunicator Jeff Shepherd was named 9-1-1 Professional of the Year. This is an award given to a handful of dispatchers each year as recognition of their professional dedication and excellence. Shepherd, who has 15 years total service as a telecommunicator, started his dispatch career in Maryland before joining the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office in 2003.

“Working as a team is the best part of this job,” Shepherd said. “I enjoy doing this; I wouldn’t trade it for anything or have it any other way. I enjoy the people I work with; it’s why I come to work.”

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office dispatch shift of Kristie Brewer, Jennifer Pitts and Amy Zapata was nominated for Team of the Year and was recognized as a finalist for the honor during the luncheon. The trio was nominated for a June 2015 call where they handled communications relating to an initial traffic stop that turned into a chase when the suspects stole another agency’s patrol unit. Multiple agencies were involved prior to the incident’s conclusion after several hours’ duration. Their nomination spoke of their professionalism during the incident and how they maintained control of the various communication activities while ensuring information was relayed to all responding units for their safety and wellbeing.

Brewer, who holds an advanced telecommunicator certificate, has 14 years experience as a dispatcher, with 12.5 of those with the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office. “We care,” Brewer said of the telecommunicators’ work. “We’re not just here for the paycheck.”

Pitts has five years total experience, with four at the Sheriff’s Office; she has an advanced telecommunicator certificate. “We work really well together,” Pitts said. “We listen to each other’s channels in addition to our own. We don’t have to ask each other for help. We just do it and help each other out. It gets things done faster and efficiently.”

Zapata has three years total experience, with 1.5 at the Sheriff’s Office; she holds an intermediate telecommunicator certificate. “We really support each other,” Zapata said. “We’re like brothers and sisters; it’s family. We do this for the community.”

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division also received an award for taking more TDD/TT (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf and Text Telephone) calls than any other agency in the area, with more than 1,600 calls fielded over the past year.


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


 

Sixth annual Ellis County Toy Drive a success


ELLIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Johnny Brown, Sheriff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sixth annual Ellis County Toy Drive a success

Waxahachie, Texas – Dec. 3, 2015

The 40-plus children currently in care at the Texas Baptist Home for Children squealed with delight as Santa Claus made his appearance late Tuesday afternoon on the Waxahachie Fire Department’s vintage fire engine.

Accompanied by members of the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Office Explorers, Waxahachie Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety, Santa Claus and his Lead Elf led the children and their foster parents into the home’s gymnasium, where a festively decorated Christmas tree awaited – along with gift bags filled with presents for each of the young recipients.

After welcoming the children to the holiday party, Sheriff’s Chaplain Bruce Stayments led them in prayer: “Father, thank you for this time together. Thank you for all of these kids who are here today and for the adults who are taking care of them. Thank you for the deputies, police officers and troopers who’ve worked together to make this day possible.”

Following the distribution of the individualized gift bags, the children were served a meal of soda, pizza and desserts, and each had plenty of time to visit with Santa and the law enforcement personnel on hand during the party.

“This is a wonderful, wonderful thing,” said Eddie Marsh, president of the Texas Baptist Home. “All of this was initiated by law enforcement and it’s good in two ways: It benefits our kids and it also helps as far as them relating to law enforcement in a positive way.

“They’re doing a great thing for our kids and it’s very much appreciated,” Marsh said. “It’s neat to see all of the smiles and excitement from the kids.”

Tuesday marked the first stop for the 2015 Ellis County Toy Drive, which wrapped up Thursday afternoon with a similar party at the Presbyterian Children’s Home, where about 60 children enjoyed their opportunity to visit with Santa, his Elf and all of his law enforcement helpers.

Presbyterian program director Kyle Mitchell said he appreciated how the toy drive and pizza party give the children an opportunity to meet and visit with law enforcement personnel. “The kids have been coming up to me and talking about how cool it is to talk to the officers here,” he said. “It’s a win-win long term because the kids are understanding that the officers are here to help them and do good things in their lives. That personal contact with law enforcement is great for them.

“Also, a lot of times these kids feel forgotten and this says, ‘Hey, the community did this for you,’ ” he said. “ ’It’s because you matter. You’re important. You’re remembered.’ I appreciate the officers and community giving to these kids. Holidays are hard, but these are moments that help them get through everything.”

As of Thursday afternoon’s pizza party, just under 100 children between both homes had been served by the toy drive, which will also ensure that any other children taken into care this holiday season have Christmas presents.

“Ninety-five percent of these kids got all of their three wishes met – and 100-percent of them got more than what they had asked for,” said Deputy Jeff Prater. “There aren’t any of these bags that aren’t full of presents.”

This is the sixth year for the toy drive, which started as a county employee-driven effort organized by the Sheriff’s Office. It has since grown to include multiple agencies working together to benefit these children in need.

“We were thrilled to partner up with the Sheriff’s Office in this,” Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby said. “It’s such a great cause and seeing all of the smiles makes it all worthwhile.”

For DPS Sr. Cpl. James Colunga, the annual event holds special meaning.

“I’m adopted,” he said. “I could have been one of the kids here.” Colunga also noted how the toy drive represents a joint effort between the many county employees who donated and the many Ellis County residents who stopped by to drop off boxes of toys at tents set up outside of the local Walmart stores on Black Friday.

“You know we enjoy doing this when we’re already thinking about next year’s toy drive and how to make it even better,” Colunga said.

“Everything” about the toy drive is what makes it worthwhile, Sheriff Johnny Brown said. “Helping these kids out is what it’s all about.

“We’re showing them encouragement from law enforcement,” Brown added. “A lot of these kids have only seen the negative side of law enforcement. We want them to know they can come to us anytime.”

Besides extending his appreciation to all of the county employees and community members who contributed to the toy drive, Brown said he wanted to recognize Constable Terry Nay for hosting a Halloween party that benefited the toy drive, and also thank local businesses Amerigrafix, Best Buy, Brookshires-Midlothian, Cici’s Pizza, Dart Container, Walmart-Ennis, Walmart-Midlothian and Walmart-Waxahachie for their contributions.


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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