During the monthly debriefing at the Rusk County Sheriff’s office it was discovered that problems with livestock are always an issue every month in the county. Sometimes it is up and sometimes it is down. This month it was cut in half.
But every month Rusk County Deputies are always getting dispatched because cows, horses or other animals are loose. They have either torn down the fence or posts that hold up the fence and many times their owners are not aware until they are notified once the animal is identified.
Why is this an issue? Why should the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department care? Simple, Rusk County is a closed range county when much of Texas is an open range county.
This became law as a result of a Stock Law Election on December 11, 1922, almost 98 years ago and Rusk County has been obeying that law ever since. The purpose of the law was to determine whether or not horses, mules, jacks, jennets and cattle should be permitted to run at large in Rusk County.
“This is why we have so many calls about livestock being loose,” said Sheriff Jeff Price. “It’s the law and our job is to carry out the law even though it is almost 100 years old.”
The 1922 election yielded 749 votes with 654 for the law and 95 against it. It was passed and has been on the books ever since.
Price said, “we are working with livestock owners to fix this problem and watch out for their livestock so that nothing happens to them.”
Simple assaults were down to 27 this month and burglary of a building was down to three.
“The reason these were down was because many people have returned to work therefore they are spending less time together to disagree,” said Price. “Burglary of a building was down because business people are occupying their buildings more than last month which means burglars don’t have as much time to break in.”
Illegal dumping was up to eight calls this month. Price says that increased dumping is taking place all over the county and this includes trash, TV’s furniture and other large items.
“If we find a trash bag we will go through it looking for mail or other pieces of information that will help us locate the owner of the trash,” Price said. “We have five transfer stations in the county that people can use but many will not. As a result of this dumping it sometimes gets in ditches and clogs up the flow of water with lots of rain and sometimes washes out roads.”
Burglary of a habitation was up to 12 and according to Price people are spending less time at home so this gives a burglar more of an opportunity to break in.
Criminal trespass doubled to 20 in number. Loud music was up to 27 calls. Theft of miscellaneous goods was up to 23.