PHOTO: Cutler at a 2011 press conference
FROM SUBMITTED REPORTS
Facing criticism for not returning early from an European vacation following last week’s devastating flooding, Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler released the following statement this evening:
On Saturday May 23, 2015 at approximately 8:00 p.m., Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler departed the United States for a preplanned one-week vacation in Europe, several hours before the unprecedented flooding disaster in Hays County. Prior to his departure Sheriff Cutler appointed Chief Deputy Jamie Page acting Sheriff of Hays County to act in his stead. During his 6,000 mile, twelve hour flight Sheriff Cutler was unaware that Hays County had been struck by a natural disaster.
Sheriff Cutler and Chief Page were in frequent contact with one another throughout the disaster as soon as possible and throughout the week. Sheriff Cutler understood that the situation was grave and that everything that could be done for our citizens and those affected by the disaster was being handled.
It should be noted that during Sheriff Cutler’s tenure, he has developed and implemented succession plans in order address these types of situations while encouraging and promoting agency wide leadership and management throughout all ranks. Currently, there are 110 years of law enforcement experience between Chief Page and the three agency Captains. The Sheriff’s Office has and will continue to support the efforts of the Hays County Emergency Management team during this catastrophe.
Sheriff Cutler returned late Saturday night May 30th and on early Sunday morning toured the disaster areas with emergency personnel and other elected officials. Sheriff’s Cutler’s focus is on the continued efforts to recover victims and assist those who survived the disaster.
Cutler also referred people to this story in the Hays Free Press for information about sheriff’s office operations during his absence.