KETR

Collin Co. Sheriff Says 'Critically Understaffed' Department Endangers Deputies and Residents

Jul 17, 2017

Collin County has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade and a half. While that's good for developers and business, it's proving to be upsetting for County Sheriff Jim Skinner, who says that the county's rapid population growth makes patrolling with a small department is putting the public and deputies at risk.

Skinner recently sent a 31-page letter to the Collin County Commissioners Court outlining his case for expanding the sheriff’s office to add at leat 15 new deputies by the end of 2018. Currently, the Collin County Sheriff's Office has 33 employees to patrol nearly 1 million residents. According to Skinner, a lone deputy is sent out on patrol in each of the county’s five districts every day. 

Between 2000 and 2010, the population of Collin County jumped from about 491,000 to about 782,000, according to the US Census Bureau. The Census projects the final 2016 population of the county to land somewhere around 940,000.

Skinner states in his letter that because of the county's population boom, response times from his office for calls in have more than tripled to an average 20 minutes in the past decade. He also wrote that calls taking more than 40 minutes to respond to have spiked by almost 500 percent in that same time period.