Changes in Potter County with New Sheriff in Charge

Greg Daniel, Captain with Potter County
Greg Daniel, Captain with Potter County
Brian Thomas, Potter County Sheriff
Brian Thomas, Potter County Sheriff

With just one day under his belt, the new Potter County sheriff is already tackling big issues.

Sheriff Brian Thomas says workers and residents will know what it going on inside his department.

The detention center tops the list, since officials have a tough time finding spots for inmates. But he has some new ideas.

Sheriff Thomas says, "There are some pods out there that we are looking at that are not being used that are more on the male side. Right now our biggest pop. Problem is the female pop. Just because it's a growing population."

They are now waiting for the jail standard commission to see if they can use these extra 16 beds for females.

There are other ways to hold down overcrowding.. But Thomas says they aren't ideal.

"We are going to have to look at doing some early release. That's not something that we want to do. But with the early release, maybe some type of ankle monitoring system or something like that."

He says construction of a new jail or renovation is probably inevitable, but it's not a decision he wants to make immediately.

"I don't want to come in here the first week and say, we got to build a new jail. I live in potter county. I don't want to have to pay for that."

Since Thomas comes from the Amarillo Police Department, and Chief Deputy Roger Short is a veteran of the Randall County Sheriff's Department, many hope a unity can be formed between the three agencies.

Captain Greg Daniel with Potter County says, "We look forward to reopening lines of communication with local law enforcement agencies, where we can all get on the same page. Developing a child abduction response team where members of all the agencies are involved. Maybe some joint training efforts with the other agencies."

Thomas also wants residents involved.

"We want to do a citizen's academy. We want them to know, we work for you, come and see what we do."

Sheriff Thomas says don't expect to see a huge difference overnight... Changes will take time, but they are one their way.