Across the country on January 9th each year, citizens take the lead to show support on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. In Terry County, we are no different. We also would like to take time to appreciate those who serve and protect us. Those who face violent situations without hesitation. Those who put their own lives on the line to serve our community.
From local, state and federal, their duties command dedication. The jobs are often thankless and take them away from their families for long hours. Rarely do they know what their days have in store for them. Often law enforcement are the only paid emergency resource a community has. More often they work in coordination with other local, state, and federal organizations to make communities safer.
Locally, we are protected by our Brownfield Police Department, Terry County Sheriff’s Office, Brownfield ISD School Resource Officers and Texas Highway Patrol. The Texas Rangers are also available to be called on when needed. All of these departments add up to a great number of men and women who have answered the call to make our lives better.
The Terry County Sheriff’s Office has 16 jailers, four cooks, one maintenance person, two administrative jailers, four patrol deputies and, of course Sheriff Timothy Click. Click stated, “These people certainly help make my job much easier. This staff is dedicated to the job and to the citizens of Terry County and I am very proud of them and the job they all do.”
The Brownfield Police Department has four officers in Administration, including Police Chief Tony Serbantez. Four Patrol Team Supervisors, five Criminal Investigation Officers, one Code Enforcement Officer, seven Patrol Officers, four in Telecommunications and two in Animal Control. That may seem like a lot, but they all play a very important role in protecting our lives and our property. Chief Serbantez stated, “I am really proud of our department. We have very well trained officers, and officers that are committed to serving the public and keeping people safe and secure in their homes and on the streets.”
There are two School Resource Officers who serve BISD. Alan Nelson and Zach Nettle have served BISD for several years and are well known in the community. They work at all campuses and do safety programs, as well as making sure our campuses are kept secure. BISD Superintendent Chris Smith stated, “Our SROs play a vital role in our school district. They silently provide protection to our students and faculty. They protect our property, serve as mentors, and always go above and beyond in their duties. We are very proud of and thankful for our School Resource Officers.”
First observed in 2015, National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day came about after an officer involved shooting drew much scrutinization of police officers and concerns about police brutality. Observants of the day spend it thanking police officers, wearing blue, and turning on blue lights at their homes.
Having a police force is a relatively new concept in the scope of history. During colonial times, forces were part-time and privately funded. Volunteer night watches were also common. Boston started one in 1636, followed by New York City in 1658 and Philadelphia in 1700. These were not very efficient, and those who were put on duty were often put there for punishment.
When cities grew larger, night watches were even more ineffective. The first full-time, publicly funded police force in the country was formed in Boston in 1838. Boston was a large shipping area and the need for policing grew out of the need to protect shipping. Merchants had long hired officers to watch over their goods, and then found a way to pass off the costs to the public by convincing them it was for the common good.
By the late 1880s, all major cities had police forces. Officers were there to protect public order, which meant different things to different people. Businessmen with connections to politicians did not want disruptions to their workforce from labor-union organizers and immigrants. Political machines were also rampant at the time, and heads of police were picked by political bosses. It was not until well into the twentieth century that there was a move towards the professionalization of police officers.
Take some time today to show our Lawn Enforcement Officers your appreciation. A word of thanks can surely make a difference in someone’s day!
Thanks to all our Terry County Law Enforcement personnel.