From the desk of the Caldwell County Sheriff
I have several things to touch on but I will try to make it brief.
From Covid-19 to the severe weather event it has been a busy month for members of the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. As you are well aware we had a Covid-19 outbreak in the jail a few weeks ago. At our worst we had a total of 31 Covid-19 positive inmates and three Jailers. As a precaution we also had several inmates in quarantine and the highest number there was 33. We relied heavily on our partnership with Southern Health Partners and as of today 02-22-21 we have a total of 1 Covid-19 positive inmate and 2 in quarantine.
For those that do not know, we have 24-hour medical staff (Southern Health Partners) on site to handle any and all medical issues within the facility. If there is something they can not handle the patient is transported to a local hospital for treatment. During the outbreak we sent a total of three inmates to the hospital with only one staying more than a couple of hours.
The winter weather hit the jail pretty hard as well. There are several cells that the heating elements have burned up in. Caldwell County had recently worked with a company called Johnson Controls to lower utility bills by improving water and power usage by replacing lights with LED, putting in new water valves using less water and replacing old HVAC systems with more energy efficient ones. They were scheduled to start work on the jail facility on Tuesday the 16th of February. On Friday the 12th we received a call from the company advising that with the weather they would not be able to start as planned.
This caused us to make moves within the jail to make sure everyone was as warm as possible. In addition, we gave extra blankets and thermal underwear to inmates as well. While all of this was going on we also had the water issues the rest of Lockhart was experiencing. With bottled water we had on site as well as water provided by the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management we were able to provide water to the inmates as well.
I would like to send a heartfelt “THANK YOU” to Hector Rangel and Hank Alex from the Caldwell County OEM for helping provide water and blankets to the inmates of the Caldwell County Jail.
I am proud to work with some of the most dedicated and selfless people I have ever met. During the hardest and coldest times there was only one employee that did not make it to work, and that was only one day out of six. The entire Patrol, Communications, Criminal Investigations and Jail Divisions shifts not only showed up and responded to approximately 300 calls for service but the off-duty shifts were calling in to see what they could do to help as well.
On another note I would like to say a “see you later” to my friend and brother in blue Johnny Juarez, who passed on Saturday. It was a pleasure to work with you and know you sir. Please know that your family will be protected and we have the watch from here.