San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Shown here under construction late last year, the Hays County Government Center opened at the beginning of 2012. IMAGE via HAYS COUNTY

STAFF REPORT

Sheriff Gary Cutler has decided not to fill three open positions on the Hays County Government Center security detail, which residents have complained is too large and heavy-handed in searching people who enter the new courts building on Wonder World Drive.

The Hays County Commissioners Court approved funding last year for 18 officers to guard the government center, which includes most county government offices and courtrooms plus small jail system that shuffles inmates between courtrooms and holding cells.

Now that the building is up and running — it opened at the start of the year — Cutler has decided he has three too many positions and has decided to eliminate the slots from his payroll. Three positions have already been vacated through “attrition,” the sheriff said.

The downsizing will save taxpayers $58,403 through the remainder of the fiscal year and $116,807 for next year, the sheriff said.

Cutler “believes that this reduction in force will not diminish the overall effectiveness of the security force at the government center and it will save taxpayer dollars,” Lt. Dennis Gutierrez said in announcing the eliminated positions.

Between Jan. 1 and March 20, when the reduction of force was announced, 53,169 people entered the government center, or an average of 1,022 a day. During that time 39 people were arrested — 19 court arrests, 14 fugitive warrant arrests and six arrests for suspects entering the government center with weapons or drugs.

Officers stationed at the government center, have seized brass knuckles, pruning shears, meat cleavers, a hammer, Taser and mace, the sheriff said.

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2 thoughts on “Cutler cuts 3 from government center security

  1. I had to go to this building for the first time last week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a tragic example of gov’t over-indulgence. Lots of guards standing around so I’m glad to see we’re correcting there. I suppose it’s at least comforting to think we’ve got THE building to last us for the next 100 years.

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