Bike rally no strain on local resources
By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor
Bandera County Sheriff Dan Butts delivered his monthly departmental report at the Thursday, April 24, meeting of Bandera Commissioners Court. While calls for service for both BCSO and EMS had spiked during March, the All Bike Rally apparently wasn't to blame.
According to Butts, BCSO deputies responded to 655 calls for service in March, driving 36,341 miles. The average response time for priority calls was 11 minutes and 36 seconds. The year-to-date response time was 11 minutes and three seconds.
BCSO law enforcement officers were primary responders to 15 calls within the city limits.
Arrests in March totaled 56 with 13 of them for alleged felonies.
BCSO assisted other agencies 44 times and assisted the public 14 times. Deputies investigated 38 property crimes and 15 crimes against persons.
During that month, animal control officers impounded 30 dogs with the average dog population at the animal control facility being 29. Since Jan. 1, 73 dogs - and one cat - have been picked up.
Of the 16 cases brought before the 198th Judicial District Grand Jury, eight were true billed. Additionally, nine felony cases and one misdemeanor case were filed. Officers made 16 appearances in district court and 12 appearances in county court.
During March, 112 prisoners were booked into the Bandera County Jail with an average inmate population of 57. Additionally, 18 prisoners were housed from other counties.
Telecommunications logged 6,866 incoming and outgoing calls and 922 incoming 9-1-1 emergency calls. Of the 9-1-1 calls, approximately a third were considered non-emergency or hang-ups due to "wrong numbers and tests," according to Butts.
"9-1-1 hang-up calls make a lot more work for us," he added. Telephone numbers of 9-1-1 callers are available to emergency dispatchers. After a 9-1-1 hang-up, a dispatcher makes a return call to the original party. If telephone numbers are unavailable, BCSO uses GPS to locate the caller.
In both instances, officers are sent to the site where the call originated. "We can spend up to an hour trying to locate an individual who made a 9-1-1 hang-up," Butts explained. "So, of the 922 9-1-1 calls made last month, a third of them were non-emergency, but not non-working for us."
Other BCSO activity during March included kicking off the DARE program at Alkek Elementary School; helping the Bandera Independent School District celebrate Texas Public Schools; and participating in the Boys & Girls Club of Bandera County's Open Door meeting at Hill Country Elementary School.
Assistant Director Calvin Plummer delivered the EMS report for March. With 205 calls, he deemed it the busiest month on record. However, Plummer said activities during Thunder in the Hill Country at Mansfield Park had failed to spike the calls.
"The motorcycle rally didn't drain our resources and there were no major wrecks," he said. Approximately 3,100 bikers attended the annual event, which provided its own medical personnel. "We had one medical call to Mansfield Park and another because a diabetic lost his pack. That was all," Plummer said.
Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Lynn Holt told the court he had magistrated eight people on Friday, March 27; five on Saturday; and 12 on Sunday, March 29.
"I signed four blood warrants and two were for locals," Holt said.
"Of course, there were a lot of additional troopers in the county that weekend," Butts said.
"The deterrent worked," Holt added.