A little more than three months ago I was appointed sheriff of Erath County.
It has been a challenging, but enjoyable role and I have been working hard to make changes that not only improve services, but improve relations with our community and other law enforcement agencies.
We are working with Stephenville Police Chief Jason King and District Attorney Alan Nash to form a special crimes unit to investigate narcotic activity and other less frequent, but more serious crimes.
We are also collaborating with SPD and the DA in the training for the Cellbrite system. This technology allows both agencies, after a search warrant has been issued, to obtain data from cell phones in order to solve crimes.
We donated an unused patrol car to the Dublin Police Department to replace one that was lost in a vehicle pursuit. We continue to work with other first responders to strengthen and maintain the safety of the county.
One of the biggest changes I’ve made is in regards to personnel. I recruited Heath Crossland to serve as chief deputy and brought in Jesse Metcalf as captain.
Robert Moore III, James Groves and Chris Hill have been promoted to sergeant, while Jimmy Robinson continues his role as patrol sergeant.
Angela Williams was promoted to dispatch sergeant and oversees the Erath County 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.
Kent Howell recently joined us from the Office of the Erath County Attorney.
We have restructured our department in order to increase coverage on the streets and prevent deputies from working alone.
Bringing in experienced law enforcement officers from other agencies has given us fresh eyes on some much-needed changes in policy. We are in the process of updating and implementing those policies.
When I came into office, there were several ongoing investigations. Some are now complete.
We were informed that the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement has filed a case with the Office of the Texas Attorney General. There is a separate investigation being conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, but at this time, we have no information to report. The Sheriff’s Office completed internal investigations on both the jail and dispatch.
More information on those investigations will be made public soon.
I am honored to serve as your sheriff. I have an open door policy and encourage anyone with a question or concern to stop by or give me a call. Most importantly, I want to reiterate my commitment to the Erath County Sheriff's Office and the community we serve.
The Sheriffs Office works for you.
Matt Coates is the Erath County sheriff.