"To Protect and Serve the People of our South Texas Communities"
La Salle County
Sheriff's Office
La Salle County Courthouse, 101 Courthouse Square, 
Cotulla, Texas 78014; (830) 879-3044
Sheriff Miguel A. Rodriguez
Elected terms
2013-17, 2017-21
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL 9-1-1

Calling all South Texas residents, businesses, athletes, student groups, government officials... 

Law Enforcement Torch Run:
Local participants
support
Special Olympics

Photos: Highlights of Torch Run 2016 through Cotulla

May 24 event open to all ages and abilities...
Runners, walkers, cyclists, bikers, horse riders welcome to take part through Cotulla, Dilley and Pearsall

By Marc Robertson
Organizers of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run are looking to increase community participation in the fundraising event this year with invitations to schools and local residents to take part in support of Special Olympics Texas.

The event will take place in South Texas Wednesday morning, May 24, with runners making their way through downtown Cotulla, Dilley and Pearsall in organized groups led by members of the sheriffs’ offices, police departments, Highway Patrol and US Border Patrol in each county as well as correctional officers, emergency responders and firefighters. Student athletes, school groups and community members are encouraged to take part.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is open to participants of all ages and abilities; runners, walkers, cyclists, bikers, horse riders and even go-cart and golf cart drivers are invited. While the procession will be led by officers carrying the Special Olympics torch from Laredo to San Antonio, local participants will join the run through each town along the way.

In Cotulla, the torch will arrive at the Nueces River Bridge on South Main Street at around 10 a.m. on May 24, to be met by those taking part in the run through town from the Riverside Lounge to the Family Dollar store, a distance of approximately 1.5 miles.

The torch will then be driven north to Dilley, arriving at the Lions Club at approximately 11 a.m. It will be carried north on Main Street as far as the Jalisco Café, a distance of approximately 1.2 miles.

Pearsall’s portion of the torch run will begin at noon in front of the Petty Oil Company on Business IH-35 (South Oak Street), proceeding north as far as the Comal Street intersection, where it will turn west, then veer onto FM 1581 and travel as far as the Frio County Regional Park. Pearsall’s torch run stretches for a distance of just under three miles.
All South Texas area participants in the torch run are invited to take part in each run through the cities, and all are invited to attend a celebratory luncheon hosted at 1:30 p.m. in the Regional Park pavilion in Pearsall beside the IH-35 access road at Milemarker 99. Those present will then cheer the torch’s departure for points north as it travels towards Medina and Atascosa counties.

Water will be available to all runners, walkers and riders throughout the day; transportation will be made available for those needing seats to travel from each town to the next starting line. There will be law enforcement and medic escorts throughout the run; appropriate roadblocks and traffic control will be provided by local law enforcement agencies.

The Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run earns its fundraising revenues through donations to local organizers and primarily through the sale of t-shirts and caps bearing a logo for the event.

Shirts and caps cost $15 each; all participants are invited to make one or more purchases; local supporters are likewise encouraged to place shirt or hat orders.

Reservations for the shirts and hats are due before April 24 in order to secure delivery in time for the torch run.

Special Olympics Texas is a festival of games and sporting events that takes place each year in Arlington and is open to children and adults with special needs or challenges. Funds raised through t-shirt and hat sales and by donations go directly towards enabling Special Olympians attend the event from their home towns.

Last year, fundraising efforts across Texas through the Law Enforcement Torch Run helped collect over $1.3 million for Special Olympics, making Texas one of the leaders in support of Special Olympians in the nation.

The South Region of the Law Enforcement Torch Run is directed by Armando Talamantez in San Antonio; Frio and La Salle County Torch Run activities and fundraisers are coordinated by Joanna Olivarez, who may be reached at (830) 399-3290 for more information.

T-shirt and hat orders may be placed directly through Anna Twitty at atwitty@sotx.org, and with Joanna Olivarez. 

T-shirt and hat sales benefit Special Olympics directly...
Place orders
before April 24

April 13, 2017

Did you
bring me
candy,
Mrs. Bunny?

A Cotulla youngster has a big hug to share with Lady Easter Bunny at the fifth annual La Salle County Sheriff's Office Easter Egg Hunt at Veterans Park downtown on Thursday afternoon, April 13, an event that featured thousands of treat-filled eggs distributed on the park lawns. The hunts by different age groups were followed by prize drawings for Easter baskets filled with toys and treats, and dozens of bicycles, tricycles, scooters and riding toys. The event is made possible each year through donations by local families and sponsorship by elected officials and businesses; sheriff's office volunteers and their family members were assisted by the La Salle County Fair Queen and Little Mr. and Miss La Salle in distributing the prizes.
(For related images, see 'PHOTOS')

April 13, 2017

National Telecommunicators Week

For
all that
you do

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez distributed gifts on Thursday, April 13, to the county's emergency dispatchers in celebration of National Telecommunicators' Week.

The commemoration serves to acknowledge the duties carried out by the dispatchers who staff the radio communications office and who are responsible for taking emergency and 911 calls from area residents and highway travelers, and for dispatching law enforcement, firefighting and ambulance services, as needed, in addition to monitoring the whereabouts and activities of law enforcement officers on duty anywhere in the county, helping to direct them to areas where they are needed.

In his message celebrating the dispatchers' work, Sheriff Rodriguez noted that the staff are often unseen and unrecognized as critical components of a successful emergency response system and that he believes La Salle County's small team of dispatchers performs a vital role in helping protect citizens and property, and is crucial in helping communicate emergency directives. All of La Salle County's emergency dispatchers are also certified as correctional officers and may be called into duty at any time in the adjoining La Salle County Jail. The emergency dispatch office in the Roy Sturges Law Enforcement Center on Main Street in Cotulla never closes and is staffed by a team of at least two dispatchers day and night.

"We all owe a lot to the hardworking emergency dispatch telecommunicators, and I think this is especially true in La Salle County," the sheriff said last week. "These young people of our community have dedicated their lives in service to their home town and in service to the lives of their neighbors and fellow citizens. An emergency dispatcher's work is never easy and it is never predictable. An emergency can occur at any time, and the work that these telecommunicators perform can mean the difference between life and death among those involved. These dispatchers have been trained to remain calm and to remain in command of every situation, and they perform that job flawlessly. I believe all of the people of South Texas owe a debt of gratitude to these important members of the sheriff's office who work behind the scenes to enable us to do our jobs effectively."

Pictuerd with the sheriff are dispatchers Jennifer Murray and Nuvia Colchado; the remaining dispatch staff includes supervisor Sandi Ibarra, Denise Jimenez, Jennifer Martinez, Sarah Murray and Jesse Casillas.

April 13, 2017

Happy trails
to you...

La Salle County Chief Deputy Malcolm Watson (Photo above, left) has retired, serving his last day with the sheriff's office on Thursday, April 13. He was given a farewell luncheon by Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez at the La Salle County Steakhouse in Cotulla. Invited guests included sheriff's deputies and staff, troopers of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol, the Texas Rangers, and the US Border Patrol. Watson served as chief deputy for the La Salle County Sheriff's Office for nearly four and a half years. A native of Kingsville, Watson attended Texas A&I University and spent over 32 years in a career as a game warden for the Texas Department of Parks & Wildlife. Watson is a resident of Devine and will now serve as a constable in Medina County.

April 12, 2017

Power through...

Squinting as his eyes begin to burn from a dose of pepper spray, a La Salle County jailer makes his way between combat obstacles during part of an outdoor training course at the county's Emergency Operations Center in Cotulla on Wednesday, April 12. Hosted by the Alamo Area Council of Governments, the OC Pepper Spray training course involved each correctional officer experiencing the non-lethal propellant and then running a human obstacle course that ended with taking down and handcuffing a subject.
(For related images, see 'PHOTOS') 

April 9, 2017

Somebunny
squeeze
me!

La Salle County Sheriff's Office Investigator Homar Olivarez is kidnapped by Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny at Encinal Veterans Park on Sunday afternoon, April 9, following the fifth annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted by the sheriff's office for the community's children. Gift baskets, bicycles and trikes were given away in prize drawings; youngsters found scores of treats in the park in separate egg hunts for different age groups.
(For related images, see 'PHOTOS')

April 9, 2017

Ready to play

La Salle County Judge Joel Rodriguez and Commissioners Jack Alba, Erasmo Ramirez and Noel Niavez were joined by Encinal Mayor Sylvano Sanchez, Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez, County Treasurer Thelma Trevino, County & District Clerk Margie Esqueda, Tax Assessor Dora Gonzales, staff members, family and friends at the Veterans Park in Encinal on Sunday, April 9, to celebrate the opening of a new playground adventure area recently built by the county to replace an older fixture. Children from the community were busy playing on the apparatus as the county officials cut the ribbon. Plans are underway to build a new community hall at the park, replacing the aging Veterans Hall and providing an indoor meeting area large enough to accommodate the city's growing population.

April 5, 2017

How to be prepared

La Salle County law enforcement officers, emergency responders from the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS and representatives of agencies from across the region attended a pair of educational seminars in the Emergency Operations Center in Cotulla on Wednesday, April 5, presented by Les Smith of EOG Resources on the warning signs and emergency measures related to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exposure. Course attendees learned the characteristics of the "rotten egg smell" gas that is associated with the energy industry but can also be found in the natural environment, levels at which the body can tolerate exposure and levels at which exposure becomes a health hazard. The course illustrated that exposure to more than 100 parts per million of the gas can lead to nausea, dizziness and headaches, while higher levels of exposure cause immediate serious respiratory distress, disorientation, pulmonary edema, loss of consciousness, and death. Attendees were shown methods by which exposure victims should remove themselves from the area of a leak, how using the "buddy system" can help prevent anyone from becoming stranded alone in a danger zone, and how detection equipment works. Instruction was also provided in recognition of various signs and flags used at industrial sites to warn of the presence of gases, and the levels at which they are considered hazardous and at which anyone without special breathing apparatus should not proceed. Officers and emergency responders are being issued with devices that are worn on the uniform and provide an audible alarm when they detect low levels of hydrogen sulfide.

April 3, 2017

"Strengthening the communities..."

Commissioners support
Child Abuse Prevention proclamation

PRESENT TO WITNESS La Salle County's proclamation of April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month on Monday, April 3 were (L-R) La Salle County Sheriff's Office Victims' Advocate Rosario Morales, Investigator Homar Olivarez, Children's Alliance of South Texas Executive Director Mikey Betancourt, Commissioner Jack Alba, County Judge Joel Rodriguez, Children's Alliance representative Jessie Galindo, Wintergarden Women's Shelter Cotulla Outreach representative Diane Gonzalez, and Commissioner Noel Niavez.
By Marc Robertson
“All children deserve to have the safe, stable, nurturing homes and communities they need to foster their healthy growth and development,” La Salle County Judge Joel Rodriguez read from a proclamation Monday, April 3, confirming his and the county commissioners’ support for Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month.

The court’s backing of the month’s designation came on the same day as county and regional child advocates and caseworkers gathered in the La Salle District Court to witness a proclamation by Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami, who put an emphasis on the work done by those who handle intervention and children’s cases. Speaking in county commissioners’ court, Judge Rodriguez struck a different note in his encouragement of education and awareness as a means to combat child abuse.

“Children are vital to our state’s future success, prosperity and quality of life,” the judge read in court Monday afternoon, “as well as being our most vulnerable assets.
“Child abuse and neglect are a community responsibility, affecting both the current and future quality of life in a community,” the county judge said, putting an emphasis on a local responsibility for education to increase awareness of a child abuse crisis and to muster multiple agencies into a coordinated action plan for intervention. “Communities that provide parents with
the social support, knowledge of parenting and child development, and resources they need to cope with stress and nurture their children, ensure all children grow to their full potential.”

Children’s Alliance of South Texas Executive Director Mikey Betancourt was joined at the commissioners’ court meeting by members of his staff at the Child Advocacy Center and by members of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates of South Texas and told commissioners that he believes La Salle County government has been particularly supportive of efforts to reduce child abuse in the region.

“You have always been super supportive of what we do,” Betancourt said, “and we and the children we serve appreciate your support. We have interviewed a number of children at our center here and in Frio County. You have helped us make a difference.”
SILHOUETTES handmade by students of Cotulla High School's Building Trades Department were donated this week to the Wintergarden Women's Shelter to represent the innocent victims of child abuse and neglect, and were placed on the lawn of the La Salle County Courthouse Monday, April 3 to mark the month's designation for intervention in cases of crime against youngsters. Wintergarden representatives were joined by La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and investigators, local government leaders and children's advocates in promoting the silhouettes and in celebrating their cooperative work for the benefit of the young who are served by prevention specialists, law enforcement, shelter, advocacy and counseling in the path to freedom from harm.
“Effective child abuse prevention strategies succeed because of partnerships,” County Judge Rodriguez said, noting that he believes La Salle County is fortunate to have “citizens, human service agencies, schools, faith communities, healthcare providers, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community” working cohesively in an awareness and intervention campaign. “We call upon all citizens to increase their participation in our efforts to support families, thereby preventing child abuse and strengthening the communities in which we live.”

The judge was joined in signing the proclamation by Commissioners Jack Alba and Noel Niavez. Commissioners Raul Ayala and Erasmo Ramirez attended the meeting later in the afternoon of the same day.   

April 3, 2017

Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami presided over a ceremony in La Salle County on Monday, marking April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, and was joined by child case workers and advocates from across the region

"Join me in a national effort..."

Judge signs proclamation for
Child Abuse Prevention
& Awareness Month

Representatives of advocacy services, shelter, law enforcement, community groups, county government attend

By Marc Robertson
Associate Judge Melissa DeGerolami was joined by children’s advocates, service providers and law enforcement representatives Monday morning, April 3, in the La Salle County District Courtroom for a brief ceremony marking Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, encouraging local participation in education and intervention for the sake of youngsters.

“The county of La Salle prides itself in giving back to the community, contributing to the quality of life among its citizens,” the judge read from her proclamation, adding that she is confident in the work carried out by the children’s advocacy groups, protective services and shelter organizations, and that they “speak for the best interests of abused and neglected children who are involved in the juvenile courts.”

Statistics indicate that approximately nine children in La Salle County suffer from some form of confirmed abuse or neglect every year, but the number of children who receive vital services and whose home situations are under examination to ensure that the youngsters are protected from harm is far higher, according to Mikey Betancourt, executive director of the Children’s Alliance of South Texas, a child advocacy group that operates a service center in Cotulla. Betancourt showed that in the month of March alone, at least 65 children underwent forensic interviews at the Children’s Alliance facility in Cotulla. Interviews include investigations into cases of possible abuse or neglect but also include meetings with siblings of children who have been victimized, in order that case investigators may determine the level of risk at which other family members may stand.

“Through a national effort, La Salle County community members are encouraged to join together to raise awareness for those children fallen victim to abuse and neglect,” Judge DeGerolami said on Monday. “This effort will give abused and neglected children in our community and around the country a chance for a safe and positive future.”

The judge encouraged all those present to spread awareness of children’s plight in the community and to promote intervention in cases involving child abuse or neglect.

“I urge all citizens to join me in a national effort to raise awareness and help prevent child abuse and neglect,” the judge said.

Present to witness the proclamation were CASA of South Texas Executive Director Joni Garcia and Outreach Coordinator Francie Gasch; Children’s Alliance of South Texas Executive Director Mikey Betancourt and staff members and forensic interviewers Jessie Galindo, Kasey Brown and Rebekah Garza; Wintergarden Women’s Shelter representative Diane Gonzalez; Woman’s Club of Cotulla members Mary Jane Treff, Novella Byrd and Minerva Rios; La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, Sgt. Investigator Esmeralda Gonzalez and Victims’ Advocate Rosario Morales; La Salle County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez; La Salle County Attorney Elizabeth Martinez; interpreter Joaquin Toranzo and Cynthia Toranzo; Texas Department of Family & Protective Services caseworker Liliana Gonzalez; Attorney Susan Stacy; and Child Protective Services representative Erik Stark.

"Give abused and neglected children in our community and around the country a chance for a safe and positive future"

April 1, 2017

Play ball, kids!

La Salle County Sheriff's Office staff members were featured personalities on grand opening day for the new season of the Babe Ruth League games at the Martinez Park Sports Complex in Cotulla on Saturday, April 1, with administrative clerk Amanda Carbajal throwing out the first pitch to telecommunications officer Jennifer Murray. Both are presently coaches of league teams. The Babe Ruth series includes players from beginners' T-ball to 18-year-olds on local teams. Saturday's season-opening festivities included a downtown parade for all participants.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   (Courtesy photo)

April 1, 2017

Y'all
ready
to shop again?

Encinal city officials joined La Salle County government and law enforcement representatives, local residents and property developers with Encinal Mayor Sylvano Sanchez and City Manager Velma Davila on Saturday, April 1, for a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of a Family Dollar store, the first new retail clothing and housewares establishment to be built in the city in more than half a century. La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez was represented at the ceremony by Sgt. Rickey Galvan. Also present were Justice of the Peace Frank Weikel and Commissioner Jack Alba. The small highwayside community in southern La Salle County has begun experiencing an economic renaissance following the establishment of new truck stops and travel centers, and the announcement of a federal grant to expand and improve the municipal water and wastewater utility services. City officials expect the community to begin growing as its economic base expands; a new City Hall and newly remodeled elementary school campus are aimed at accommodating the population growth.  (Courtesy photo)

March 31, 2017

Opportunity to visit with US Congressman Henry Cuellar...

Celebrating $2.3M in funding for Encinal water systems

District 28 Congressman Henry Cuellar visited Encinal on Friday, March 31, to present a check to the city's Water Supply Corporation for a grant and loan combination totaling more than $2.3 million, of which a million dollars is a federal grant through the US Department of Agriculture. The money will be used to improve the city's water and sewer services, with upgraded water lines and new connections, and to unify the city's water lines to a standard measurement. The water supply corporation
expects the improved service to help encourage new development in Encinal, thereby boosting the local economy. Present to greet the congressman on Friday were (Photos) La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, County Commissioner Jack Alba and Encinal Police Chief Roy Vallejo.
(Courtesy photos: Tina Alba and Velma Davila)

March 29, 2017

Practice
makes perfect

La Salle County government officials gathered in downtown Cotulla on Wednesday, March 29, to celebrate the official grand opening of the Texas Department of Public Safety's newest Driver Licensing Office in a remodeled building near Veterans Park on Main Street. Present to give a welcoming speech was La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, a retired corporal of the Texas DPS Highway Patrol. Also present were officers of the DPS, La Salle County government and law enforcement officials, Cotulla Main Street Program and Chamber of Commerce and the facility's staff. The licensing office has begun serving the community and is open to license renewals and reservations for driving tests.
                                                          (Courtesy photo)

March 22, 2017

Stop,
look,
listen and live

South Texas law enforcement officers joined the Union Pacific Railroad on Wednesday, March 22, in enforcing grade crossing safety laws in a special effort aimed at reducing the number of traffic violations that result in accidents between commercial vehicles and freight trains on the UP line between San Antonio and Laredo. Officers taking part in the UP’s Crossing Accident Reduction Education and Safety (CARES) Operation monitored vehicles using grade crossings and intercepted commercial vehicles whose drivers failed to observe warning signs and who failed to make safe stops before crossing the tracks. Citations were also issued to drivers who bypassed grade crossing barricades or who ignored train signals. The five-hour operation involved the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, the county constabulary and the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement branch. Pictured Wednesday morning at the La Salle County Courthouse shortly before setting out to monitor the grade crossings were Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, Deputy Jose Cardenas III and Precinct 2 Constable Rene Maldonado with the DPS troopers and Union Pacific Railroad Police. Also taking part (not pictured) was La Salle County Captain Jose Garcia. Participants strove to carry out the operation with a view to citing violators who endangered other traffic as well as educating the motoring public on grade crossing safety.                                                           (Courtesy photo)

March 16, 2017

Big rides

The La Salle County Sheriff's Office took delivery on Thursday, March 16, of two all-new Chevrolet pickup trucks specially equipped for K-9 Unit service. The diesel-powered trucks are furnished with dog cages for the long-term transport of law enforcement canines on duty, including independent cooling systems and remotely operated doors. The first of the new pair will go directly into service with La Salle County Investigator Homar Olivarez and his K-9 Unit, Ben, who assists officers in the detection of narcotics and other contraband. Pictured with the new trucks are (L-R) Investigator Olivarez, Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, La Salle County Constable Guy Megliorino, Sheriff's Lt. Mike Bostwick and Capt. Jose Garcia.

March 16, 2017

Letter to the Community

For the sake of a little Cotulla boy

Late Saturday night, March 11, we were notified that a family in the Saltillo Street neighborhood of Cotulla had discovered that their small child was missing and that he may have wandered out of his home.

We immediately deployed as many deputies of the Sheriff’s Office and the Cotulla City Patrol as we were able to muster and began assisting in the search for the missing child. We also summoned the assistance of other agencies, and the US Border Patrol sent its agents to the area.

Within a short time, neighbors, friends and helpers from across the community had joined us in the search as we made our way from house to house and along streets and alleys, looking for the missing child. Temperatures that night were low and it was at the height of County Fair Weekend, when the city was crowded with strangers from across the region; it was of utmost importance to everyone that the child be found as quickly as possible before he suffered any harm.

We are pleased to report that the child was found safe and unharmed, that he had made his way to a relative’s home and that he was out of danger.

As we look back on the massive effort put forth by everyone for the sake of a little Cotulla boy in the middle of the night, we are truly appreciative of the assistance provided by the many people who took the cause to heart and who were willing to spend as long as it took to help find the small child.

It is when the people come together for a cause that is close to all our hearts that we learn the value of community. The child’s family joins us in extending thanks to all those who volunteered and in celebrating the strength of neighborly bonds.

Sincerely,
La Salle County Lt. Mike Bostwick & Sgt. Rickey Galvan

March 11, 2017

All shined up

La Salle County Deputy Jose Cardenas III helps adjust Deputy Jose Avila's freshly polished peace officer star during a uniform check moments before the annual Cotulla Wild Hog Cook-Off Parade, Saturday morning, March 11, the highlight event of the county fair weekend. Officers took part in the parade, monitored traffic at key roadblocks, and spent the rest of the day and evening on patrol at the La Salle County Fairgrounds. Also pictured are Deputies Elvira Hernandez and Cesar Villarreal, prepping for inspection.
(For related images, see 'PHOTOS')

March 8, 2017

Calling
all units...

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez completes his inspection of the law enforcement agency's freshly labeled command trailer a day before it is towed to the La Salle County Fairgrounds, where it is used as an operations base and communications center for officers on patrol at the Wild Hog Cook-Off and Junior Livestock Show, Thursday to Sunday, March 9-12. The fully self-sufficient trailer was made available to the Sheriff's Office by the Middle Rio Grande Development Council and is furnished with bunks, kitchen and dining area and is equipped with satellite, radio and cell communications systems that enable officers to work in remote locations in the event of a disaster or regional emergency, including coordinating evacuation routes, monitoring patrols in outlying areas and in bringing together task forces and emergency responders from across the region. The trailer has been given new logos this year in order to enhance its visibility.

March 6, 2017

Over the airwaves...

Emphasizing the importance of accurate radio communications over common frequencies and via either clear or encrypted channels, Middle Rio Grande Development Council representative Lee Stanphill and US Border Patrol Del Rio Sector Operations Agent Cesar Peralta of the Office of Incident Management briefed La Salle County area law enforcement officers and emergency responders on Monday, March 6, in the technicalities of transmitting and receiving information when dispatched to crises, accidents, public events, manmade and natural disasters, and other emergencies requiring response and support from multiple agencies. The guest speakers used references to previous incidents in which communications worked flawlessly when coordinating agencies used compatible systems, and events in which there were breakdowns in communication. Officers were reminded to use common English instead of law enforcement terminology and "ten-codes" when communicating with agencies trained in different jargon. The event was aimed at bringing closer together the emergency response and law enforcement agencies operating through South Texas in preparation for disaster response and in accordance with a plan set forth by the Local Emergency Planning Committee, headed by La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS Chief Les Simmons, who also serves as the La Salle County Emergency Management Coordinator. Attending the seminar were representatives of the La Salle County Sheriff's Office, La Salle Fire Rescue, the US Border Patrol, the Texas Highway Patrol, the Texas Department of Transportation, the La Salle Emergency Dispatch Office, the Cotulla Volunteer Fire Department, and the Methodist AirCare medical evacuation helicopter team.  

March 3, 2017

Promotion time

La Salle County Jailer Dephanie Gonzalez, who is employed as a correctional officer at the Regional Detention Center at Encinal, earned her promotion to lieutenant this week and was pinned in a brief ceremony by (Photo, L-R) Lt. Mayra Pedraza and interim detention center administrator Omar Juarez. The facility holds detainees of the US Marshals Service and is managed by La Salle County under the supervision of the sheriff's office.
(Courtesy photo)

March 1, 2017

Now
hear
this

La Salle County Fair organizers Amanda Brown Snowden and Cissy Allen offered a pre-event briefing this week for all law enforcement officers who will be on duty at the county fairgrounds on Hwy 97 during Wild Hog Weekend in Cotulla, Thursday to Sunday, March 9-12, including the annual County Fair and Junior Livestock Show, Wild Hog Cook-Off, and Ranch Rodeo. Deputies of the La Salle County Sheriff's Office and sheriffs' offices of neighboring counties, the Cotulla City Patrol and the Encinal Police Department will join emergency responders from the La Salle Fire Rescue & EMS in providing gate security, foot patrol, supervision and law enforcement services at the fairgrounds, including the monitoring of traffic and safety patrols at the evening dances. Members of the public will be allowed to enter the fairgrounds on foot only during the festival; all vehicle traffic will be barred, including privately owned electric carts and all-terrain vehicles. The Fair Association will provide a courtesy transport service to and from Gate 5 (main parking lot access) for anyone requiring mobility assistance. Each of the fairground gates will be patrolled by an officer this year, to ensure improved security and to restrict unauthorized access. County fair organizers are expecting capacity crowds at daytime and evening events throughout the weekend and are gearing up for a need to offer enhanced law enforcement coverage, emergency response and security service.

Oaths of
Office

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez took his oath of office for his second elected term as the head law enforcement officer for the county in a brief ceremony the district courtroom on Monday, January 2, in the presence of County Judge Joel Rodriguez and Justice of the Peace Vicki Rodriguez. Also taking their oaths of office on Sunday and Monday for new terms after prevailing in their respective elections during 2016 were (Photo above right) Constable Rene Maldonado, (Photos below, L-R) Constables Guy Megliorino, Oscar Tellez and Hector Ramirez (pictured right with new La Salle County Commissioner Erasmo Ramirez).

February 28, 2017

Making contact with lawmakers,
reinforcing law enforcement bonds...

Texas sheriffs visit
85th Legislature

La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and Captain Jose Garcia were among more than 120 top law enforcement officials from across the state to converge on Austin for a visit to the State Capitol and meetings with lawmakers during the 85th Legislature on Tuesday, February 28.

The meeting was aimed at giving reinforcement to the law enforcement officers’ unity and cooperation, and allowed them to express an interest in new legislation and to meet with key players in state government. The visit was organized by the Sheriff’s Association of Texas’ Legislative Committee.

The association hosts the event during a state legislature in order to involve the sheriffs and their senior officers in the legislative process. Resolutions were passed in the Texas House and Senate recognizing the sheriffs and the association for their work. The visiting law enforcement officers spent the remainder of the day meeting with their respective senators and state representatives to discuss pending legislation and to offer input on bills that affect the citizens of Texas.

The Sheriff’s Association indicated in a prepared statement after the visit that sheriffs taking part hold great value in the contacts they make and reinforce with each other and with lawmakers at the Capitol.

Founded in 1874, the Sheriff’s Association of Texas is a non-profit professional and educational organization dedicated to the preservation of peace and protection of the lives and property of the citizens of Texas. The organization’s Legislative Committee is appointed by the president of the association and is composed mainly of sheriffs from across the state.  

February 23, 2017

The way we do things

La Salle County Sheriff's Deputy and Courthouse Bailiff Eddie De Leon (photo, right) traveled to Crystal City on Thursday, February 23, to meet Zavala County Bailiff Joe Flores for an analysis of the facility's security measures and means by which law enforcement may enhance protection for public safety in the building and in the courtroom itself. The La Salle bailiff's visit was made in a renewed spirit of cooperation between neighboring law enforcement agencies and to share resources in training and experience. La Salle County Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez and Zavala County Sheriff Eusebio Salinas Jr. arranged the meeting.

February 16, 2017

Wild animal alert:
Construction near North Baylor
opens undeveloped ground

By Marc Robertson
The La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Cotulla and Cotulla ISD are issuing a caution to local residents this week in advance of groundbreaking and land clearing along North Baylor Street, where wildlife may be disturbed and animals could move into populated areas.

The ground is being prepared for construction of Cotulla’s new elementary school. Heavy equipment should be moved into the area this week and brush clearing will begin shortly in order that survey crews may assess the property’s topography.

According to Cotulla ISD Superintendent Dr. Jack Seals on Thursday, wildlife that has already been identified in the hitherto undeveloped area includes deer, wild hogs and snakes.

North Baylor Street runs between Medina Street and the IH-35 access road and was built less than ten years ago for commercial and residential development related to the energy industry over the Eagle Ford Shale. The proposed development area lies directly to the south of the Las Palmas business park, between North Baylor and Main Street. Portions of the territory earmarked for the school construction project have never been developed and have been left to grow wild since the road was built.

“There is some thick brush in the area beyond the acreage that was used for RV hookups,” Supt. Seals said Thursday. “We know that there are animals in that area and that these may be displaced by the development. We don’t want people to be alarmed, and we hope that drivers and pedestrians will be watchful.”  

“We want people to be aware that wildlife will be on the move, and that animals may wander onto private property in that area,” Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez said. “This includes the Madison Pointe apartments and areas along Medina Street.

“Some wild animals have already been seen in the area,” the sheriff said. “We want people to be on the lookout and to take precautions for the safety of their own children and pets during this first stage of the construction, which will be land clearing.”

January 26, 2017

New certificates

A team of newly hired correctional officers graduated Thursday, January 26, at the Alamo Area Council of Governments jailer certification course in San Antonio and is employed by the La Salle County Sheriff's Office to serve in the Regional Detention Center at Encinal and in the La Salle County Jail at Cotulla. Those earning their certification as jailers after training in the AACOG course in La Salle County during January include (L-R) Rose Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Bevel, Ruben Cruz, Eric Luna, Hank McKinney, Joel Deleon, Jose Fernandez, Edgar Herrera and Jose Sanchez.

January 23, 2017

The Word is Good...

The La Salle County Sheriff's Office received a donation Monday, January 23, in the form of specially published Bibles for those serving as emergency responders and in law enforcement, courtesy of the First Baptist Church of Cotulla. The Bibles will be distributed among all of La Salle County's patrol officers. On hand for the presentation in the district courtroom were (L-R) La Salle Captain Joey Garcia, Lieutenant Mike Bostwick, Chief Deputy Malcolm Watson, Sheriff Miguel Rodriguez, FBC Minister of Music and Chamber of Commerce President Noe Rodriguez, and FBC Pastor Loren Fast. Funds for the church's outreach project were directed to the purchase of the Bibles by members of the church congregation as part of an ongoing effort to provide support to those who serve their community. The church is making similar contributions to the La Salle Fire & Rescue, US Border Patrol agents and DPS Highway Patrol troopers stationed in La Salle County. Sheriff Rodriguez thanked the ministers on behalf of his officers and said he believes the county's deputies will find comfort, encouragement and guidance from the Bibles at times of duress and when facing the everyday challenges of law enforcement.

January 13, 2017

Our Heroes will always be Cowboys...

The Cotulla High School Cowboys varsity basketball team faced the CHS Alumni team in a friendly face-off to a packed house on Friday, January 13, closing out the night with a 58-58 tied game. The event was supported by school administrators, parents and civic groups as well as the La Salle County Sheriff's Office as a means to encourage peer mentoring, community bonds and youth fitness.  
(Courtesy photo)

January 2, 2017