East Texas sheriff takes frustration about budget, manpower issues out on punching bag

East Texas sheriff takes frustration about budget, manpower issues out on punching bag
Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - In the wake of an unsuccessful attempt to convince the Angelina County commissioners to accept his request for more manpower and pay his employees more, Sheriff Greg Sanches posted two videos that expressed his frustration about the situation on his Facebook page.

During one video, Sanches, a former amateur boxer, is talking to an employee about the pay situation as he is working out on a speed punching bag at the sheriff's office.

A speed bag involves timing. Sanches' request for deputy raises and more manpower did, too. The court told him to wait, He told them the wait is into its fourth year. In the  commissioners court's meeting room, Sanches held his ground. He saved his temper for the speed bag hanging up in the sheriff's office.

In the first video, Libby Parrish, an administrative assistant with the sheriff's office, asks, "What are you doing?"

"I'm kind of mad today," Sanches says. "We had commissioner's court yesterday, and it didn't go so good. It hasn't gone good for about four years. Our deputies are underpaid, and they're putting their lives on the line out there."

As Sanches continues punching the speed bag, he says, "It's a durned shame the county doesn't take the time to pay these guys what they ought to be paid. Putting their lives on the line. We're trying to deal with the pay and keep good employees here."

"It's aggravating to have to put up with that," Sanches says in the video. I'm not going to put up with it. I'm tired of being treated for four years like we've been treated. We've been doing everything over here we can."

Toward the end of the video, Sanches explains that despite the current situation regarding the lack of manpower and the county's unwillingness to give his deputies pay that is more competitive with other sheriff's offices in East Texas, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office deputies are going to train and try to be prepared for what they have to deal with on a daily basis.

The second video on Sanches' Facebook page was shot in front of the Angelina County Peace Officer's Memorial in front of the downtown courthouse.
"We're underpaid at the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, and we have been for a while," Sanches says in the video.

Sanches explains that the sheriff's office hasn't had any kind of significant manpower increase since 1996. He also said that since then, the county's population has grown from 76,000 to 87,000.

Then Sanches gives brief explanations of what happened with the fallen peace officers honored by the memorial. He explains that Don Willmon, a reserve deputy who didn't get paid, lost his life in the line of duty.

When he gets to ACSO Deputy Byford H. Hunter, who was shot in the back five times in 1982, Sanches explains he was a young deputy with the sheriff's office at that time, and he was the first law enforcement officer on the scene.

"That day, I seen for the first time as a young person and as a law enforcement officer the hate in someone's eyes," Sanches says.

He says a man at the scene was related to the person who shot Hunter. While Sanches was waiting for backup, the man ran "hollering and screaming" across the road. The man screamed some racial slurs at Sanches.

"He told me to load that deputy up and get him out of there," Sanches says in the video. "He had no concern for that deputy. He had no concern for law enforcement or anybody."

Giving a recent example, Sanches adds that his deputies went out to what they thought was a home invasion in the Bula area recently.  He says that it turned out that a 23-year-old man tried to ambush them, and shots were fired.

Sanches the deputies were able to arrest the man, and no one was hurt.

"We could have lost three deputies that day. Very quickly," Sanches says."We were so fortunate, and God was looking after us."

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.