Van Zandt Co. gets a "Beast" to fight crime


CANTON - Sheriff Michael Lindsey Ray on Tuesday stated "I have made a promise to the law abiding citizens of Van Zandt County to try to do more with less and try to make our communities safer places to live. When you get in the fight in the "war against drugs" some of the necessary safety equipment can get to be very expensive. I recently received a call from Sheriff Ray Nutt, in Henderson County, asking if our deputies could benefit from the use of a Brinks armored car.

These vehicles have become increasingly more valuable to law enforcement agencies because the environment we work in has become increasingly more dangerous. It is not uncommon for police officers to be shot or shot at while executing search and arrest warrants. I get very excited when I can secure equipment for the safety of our citizens and for the safety of our deputies and detectives, especially when it comes to us at no expense to the tax payer. That is one of the many benefits of establishing and maintaining good working relationships with other law enforcement agencies."


The Van Zandt County Commissioner's Court voted unanimously on August 24 to allow the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office to receive from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office the 1993 International Armored Truck which is owned by Brinks Incorporated. Brinks Incorporated is a security transportation company long known for its good working relations with all law enforcement communities.

Brinks Inc. waived the usual ten dollar rental fee normally charged to agencies taking possession of their assets. The simple contract states receiving agencies are at liberty to use the trucks for law enforcement purposes but are required to return the vehicle to Brinks or transfer it to another law enforcement entity when the vehicle is no longer in use.

Sheriff Ray continued, "These trucks are used to serve high risk search warrants and high risk arrest warrants. Our Narcotics Officers have been progressively working with our law enforcement partners across our county, including the Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney, Mr. Chris Martin to identify and locate drug dealers. Mr. Martin and several of our local Police Chiefs have worked together to fund numerous "undercover buys" in our communities and very soon we will be rounding up some drug dealers."

Sheriff Ray stated, "Because the current financial environment is so challenging, I am always looking for ways to stretch our resources. Our Commissioners Court has been very supportive of the Sheriff's Office so we are doing everything we can to take assets away from the individuals in our communities who choose to not play by the rules. I am simply trying to create an environment where the criminal violator who lives here, or those criminal violators who come here, will find that Van Zandt County is no longer a place where they are comfortable carrying out their criminal activities. We are discussing with our District Attorney the feasibility of taking houses, land, automobiles and other assets away from the individuals who insist on making their living selling drugs."

"I realize this is a pretty intimidating machine, our deputies have nicknamed it "The Beast". I would like to stress that if you see it going down the road; please realize that it is just another tool being used to try to make our communities safer places to live," said Sheriff Ray.



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