Interlocal Agreement Means Good News for Howard County Residents

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

HOWARD COUNTY--It sounds like a pretty sweet deal, one where everyone comes out a winner.

"We're giving them our problem and they're giving us their problem.  We have a stray dog problem in the county.  Our Sheriff's deparment is not really large enough to have a crime scene investigating, or CSI unit and the city is," Howard County Judge, Mark Barr, said.

In exchange for housing city criminals in the new jail facility, Howard County will get some help with crime scene investigating.

"Not the manpower or the policemen to go out there and do it, but their investigators, the people who lift the fingerprints, the forensic kind of stuff," Judge Barr explained.

With a large stray animal problem in the county, some extra hands are in big demand.

According to Police Chief Lonnie Smith, "We currently have 3 animal wardens.  We would be looking at expanding animal control, hopefully by 2 people. It would be an animal warden and a kennel person."

This isn't the first time the city and the county have joined forces to work on a problem.  But according to County Judge Mark Barr, you have to look at the individual pieces to see how it will affect the whole puzzle.  If they live outside city limits, they are just county residents.  But if they live in the city, they're county residents too.

"We have to take care of everybody inside the county.  That includes the citizens of Big Spring, Forsan and Coahoma.  County government has certain responsibilities to those citizens too," Judge Barr said.

Chief Smith says, no matter where they're needed, they'll give a 100% effort, "They're going to be getting whatever is necessary to put a handle on the problem that they're experiencing."

Everyone agrees, when you work together, the solution is always a good one.

Judge Barr simply put it, "You have to weigh it in the best interest of everybody.  What's the best way to serve everyone?"