County Concerns Bother Residents

Like most East Texas towns, San Augustine is small and quiet, but when something's not quite right, word spreads quickly.  A big concern these days involves patrol cars.

"Sunday night, we were listening to the police scanner, and we heard a deputy call for a wrecker and I thought, well, they were going to make an arrest and tow this suspect's vehicle in," Cinda Harris said.  "Lo and behold, it wasn't a suspect, it was a deputy.  It was his car that had broken down on a call."

There is good news for San Augustine County.  Tuesday, commissioners approved $45,000 to buy three more patrol cars.  The county has five patrol cars, but right now, only two are working.  Until the situation gets fixed, the sheriff has to drive his personal truck while on the job.

"Crime and drugs are running rampant in San Augustine County," Harris said.  "If we have a sheriff now that's willing to do something about that, he needs the equipment to do his job."

There are three sheriff's deputies for the entire county.  Only two are on duty at a time, so there's always someone on patrol, even while several cars are broken down.

San Augustine County also has its hands full with some of its own employees. This week, a group of county leaders filed a civil lawsuit against commissioners B. R. Bryan and Ed Wilson.  Bryan admits he got his truck fixed and put it on the county's tab.  Wilson reportedly used excessive amounts of gasoline for a non-county vehicle.