Deputies no longer for hire

July 23, 2008 3:17:10 AM PDT
Homeowners in Harris County are no longer allowed to hire extra deputies to patrol their neighborhoods. County commissioners voted yesterday to no longer honor deputy contracts, at least until they completely review the program. Email obtained by 13 Undercover revealed the sheriff's office was cutting into taxpayer patrols, so it could sign new contracts. That essentially benefited only neighborhoods who could afford the service.

Commissioner Sylvia Garcia says deputies should instead provide quality service to the entire county.

"Because what you do then is create the have and the have nots. People who have money can pay for contract deputy service. People who can't afford it don't get the deputies," she said. "It's absolutely, patently unfair."

County commissioners will revisit the issue in September.

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