Ector County Commissioners Court renew local disaster declaration about border security

Disaster declaration extended
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 12:31 PM CDT
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ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KOSA) - The Ector County Commissioner Court voted 3 to 1 in favor of the local disaster declaration concerning the impact of southern border security. The purpose of this extension is to allow the sheriff’s office to receive more funding from the state due to the border crisis.

“There is a program called Operation Lone Star which allows the sheriff to receive additional funding from the state due to the border crisis. So we want to make sure that we allow him every opportunity to receive those funds,” said Ector County Judge Debi Hayes.

The lone vote against was Armando Rodriguez, the commissioner for precinct 4. He told CBS7 he believes this was done for political purposes with the upcoming election in about a month.

“The thing is that they’ve been working out on this project. They wanted to do the declaration of disaster here for at least a month now,” Rodriguez said. ”By this time ‚last time we had the commissioner court they should have already had a plan. They should’ve already brought it to our attention what they needed, what the sheriff needed and everything else.”

Rodriguez also said this agenda item was presented last month and there has been plenty of time to present plans on how to combat drug and human trafficking, but no plans have been presented to the court. Commissioners have to renew the declaration every week... Last week they voted 4-1 to continue the declaration of local disaster with Rodriguez as the one vote against.

He went on to say that if Sheriff Mike Griffis showed data behind the border issue, he would possibly change his vote.

Griffis was not at the meeting but released the following statement to CBS7:

“Ector County has been a hub, a distribution point for drugs coming across the border for years. A declaration can make more resources available to us. I have been saying for years that we need a wall along the border just to stem the flow of drugs not to mention all the criminal elements associated with cartels coming in our open back door. And now with the extremely dangerous fentanyl flooding in, it is important that we have as many resources available to us that we can get to combat this evolving crisis of inverted illegal immigrants in which Joe Biden has facilitated.”

This declaration will be discussed again next week where Rodriguez hopes the sheriff can show data supporting the need for more funding.