New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 1, 1991, New Braunfels, Texas
Hetdk}-Z§ttung, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday, September 1, 1991 Page 7A
Drug sales at root of most cases, sheriff tells Rotary
By ROBERT STEWART Staff Writer
Comal County Sheriff Jack Bremer dedicated the new Sheriffs Department patrol boat at the Fort Sam Houston Recreation Area at Canyon Lake Friday.
The boat, a 26-foot Scanty Twin with two 170 horsepower, 470 Mer-cmiser engines, and 175-gallon fuel capacity came to the Department from the Galveston area, after being seized from a drug smuggler in October 1990. Officers from Comal County were involved with the U.S. Customs Service in that task force case, Bremer said. The department also received $126,000 of the $250,000 seized from the drug offenders, he said.
“Some of the by-products of drug work make it easier to go up against the crooks,” Bremer said. “Sane of the crook’s money was used to fix this boat up."
The seized drug profits were also used to buy other equipment fa Comal County deputies, including Pen tax binoculars, entry vests, body armor, 20 mobile radios, 16 hand-held radios and an encryption system which enables deputies to scramble conversations so they canna be heard on scanners, Bremer said.
“I want to thank Customs — working together we can all benefit,” Bremer said, “lf (people) are going to get involved in smuggling, we will take advantage of what we can get from them."
Several dignitaries attended the dedication and took a ride ai the boat, including County Judge Carter
Woman helps police nab three suspects
DALLAS (AP) — A 28-year-old waitress, armed with a 30,000-volt stun gun, helped police nab three men suspected in a rash of downtown robberies.
Gans Jones said she and a 21-year-old woman were waiting fa a bus following a concert by the rock group Warrant Thursday when a man confrontal them.
“It’s a bad neighborhood, so I was walking with the stun gun in my hand," Ms. Jones said. “The four robbers were coiverging on us, and I figured they were going to cut the straps on the purse.**
She lunged toward the man in an attempt to use the gun, but missed her target. Startled, the man returned fire with a handgun, grazing Ms. Jones’ hand as undercover police watching the incident arrested three of the four men.
Lt. Mike Scoggins says police plan to charge the three, whose names have not been released, in connection with 15 to 20 robberies during the past three weeks at the Starplex Amphitheatre’s parking la.
’They were operating as a group,’’ Scoggins said. “They would circle around the victim as they walked to their car a bus stop and rob them.''
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Casteel, County Commissioner and Comal Central Appraisal District board member Neil Craigmille, U.S. Army Cops of Engineers Lake Manager Jerry Brite, Senior Park Ranger Judy Scott and Supervisory Special Agent fa the U.S. Customs Service Louis W.Dracoulis.
“This boat will give us some abilities we haven’t had before,” Bremer said. “Just flying the flag will let some people know we don’t condone drinking and other activities on the lake. Many of the problems we have out here on the lake are alcohol-related.”
Comal County Deputy John Eckols will serve as captain of the boat, which will patrol the lake on weekends and aid in searches, drownings, accidents and storm warnings. Although the dedication was Friday, the boat has already been in service and proved quite useful in warning boaters and providing aid to sailboats blown over in a major storm ai Thursday, Aug. 22, Eckols said.
Eckols waked at Texas Parks and Wildlife fa 12 years and has been with the Sheriffs Department for six. He is very familiar with water-oriented police work from enforcing laws on Lake Brownwood and the Gulf of Mexico and the Bay in Orange County.
The boat was covered with barnacles and in bad shape when seized from drug dealers, Dracoulir said.
“You can’t get (drug dealers) one way, you get 'em another,” Dracoulis said of the seizure.
Lake Manager Brite said that he welcomed the Sheriff Department’s
“The sheriff has full law enforcement authority on the reservoir,” Brite said.
Sheriff Bremer said that he wanted to especially thank the Fort Sam Houston Recreation Area fa providing dock space to house the boat.
By DAVID SULLENS Editor and PuMtefier
Drugs are at the root of 75-80 percent of the problems with which the New Braunfels Police Department deals, Police Chief CR. “Dick” Headen said last week.
Speaking to the weekly meeting of the New Braunfels Rotary Club, Headen said his department is attacking the drug problem in a number of different ways.
Two New Braunfels officers, he said, are assigned to the federal drug enforcement task force that operates out of San Antonio and another is assigned to the Alamo Area Drug Task Force that is headed by Comal County Sheriff Jack Bremer.
Additionally, Headen said, two New Braunfels officers work exclusively on drug interdiction.
“AU of this is dedicated to taking the drug dealers out,” Headen said, but he added that the key to solving the problem lies in reaching the youth who are the target of those dealers.
Toward that end, he told the civic group, he has begun working with ‘ leader kids” in local high schools to help them develop their own anti-drug program.
Such a program has been very successful in Kilgore, where Headen served before moving to New Braunfels, he said, and in other communities throughout the state.
In Kilgore, he said, the youth who developed the program instituted voluntary drug testing and local merchants provided rewards fa those who passed the test.
“So far,” Headen said, "the ACLU has na attacked these kids because
what they’re doing is voluntary.” Headen praised the already in place DARE program locally, saying it teaches young people about drugs and their effects.
The police chief also spoke of his department’s three canine units, which are built around one dog purchased by the department and two others trained by local officers.
The dogs, he said, are trained to detect cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines, and are available fa use in area schools.
They are particularly effective, he said, in traffic stop situations.
Responding at the close of his presentation to questions from the group, Headen said he does na believe New Braunfels is seeing true youth gangs yet, “though I do see some hopefuls... young hoodlums who slip out of the house at night”
He said New Braunfels officers recently stopped a group of youths with “socks stuck in their belts and carrying screwdrivers in an area
where there have been a tot a auto thefts."
The socks, he said, are used to defeat fingerprint identification efforts.
But when the parents of the youths were contacted, he said, their reaction was na one of remorse and of seeking to solve the problem. Rather, he said, the parents reacted defensively, saying, “You don’t have any proof my kid was doing anything.”
“I don’t see it as a real problem yet,” Headen said, “but it can become one real quick.
The police chief said youth curfews are na the answer.
"The kids doing the damage are slipping out of the house anyway," he said, "and what are we going to do with them if we catch them?4
Rather, he said, the solution is positive peer pressure such as that generated by the Kilgore program.
"We see an 85-90 percent success rate where these programs are in place,” Headen said.
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Comal County Sheriff Jack Bremer, right, chats with Canyon Lake Manager Jerry Brite, County Judge Carter Castoel and County Commissioner Neil Cragmille as the group takes a test ride on the Sheriff Department's new boat. Deputy John Eckols is piloting the craft, which will be used to patrol Canyon Lake. (Photo by Robert Stewart)
Boat seized by Customs now used for Canyon Lake patrols
new visibility on the lake.