Wichita County Judge and Wichita Falls leader Woody Gossom today, Thursday, September 26 expressed his approval of Wichita County deputies patrolling the streets of nearby Electra in the wake of the controversy surrounding the deteriorating situation involving law enforcement there, according to an article in today's Wichita Falls TimesRecord News newspaper. Gossom, who served as a county commissioner several terms in Wichita Falls before ascending to his current position, also said in the Wichita Falls paper today that, "Right now we're very glad to be working with Electra and help them through this time."
Several Electra residents have commented on the rapidly fluctuating status of the Electra Police Department throughout the years as police chiefs and officers have come and gone with the rapidity of a revolving door. This latest exit of officers has led to a shortage of law enforcement in the town northwest of Wichita Falls.
Wichita Falls resident and Wichita County Sheriff David Duke said his office has provided help for the embattled police department since the end of 2012, when four officers resigned. Electra Police Chief Johnny Morris is on medical leave now, although he was able to hire two fulltime officers and one part-time officer in February.
However, the police department of the town which is repeatedly racked with controversy between its city council members and law enforcement officers, saw the department depleted again recently when even more people exited the office for perhaps a more stable environment.
Gossom, who is an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Wichita Falls, reported today that the county has worked up a three-month contract to renew after it expires. If Electra is able to re-load its police staff before the 90 days are up, then the contract may be terminated earlier.
Duke, a longtime deputy in Wichita Falls before he was elected sheriff, said also that the city is plowing through applications from certified police officers who have graduated from an academy. He further indicated he expects his deputies to participate in the training of any new officers hired in the town which is not far from Punkin Center and Clara.
Duke also said his deputies will help patrol special events, such as football games. The two-term sheriff said the welfare of the people of Electra is important to him. Electra is included in the sheriff's jurisdiction as it is part of Wichita County, though just barely.
Originally the center of an oil boom during its golden era, the town is reportedly named after Electra Waggoner who was a member of one of the premier families of North Texas. The sprawling Waggoner Ranch is world famous.
Hopefully, with the help of the WCSO located in Wichita Falls, the Electra Police Department can find some stability in the future.
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