Ellis County Sheriff's Office: Sheriff Brown, working for you
WAXAHACHIE – Sheriff Johnny Brown, father of four grown girls and eight grandkids, prides himself as a family man who believes in honesty and integrity not only at home, but within his department.
"I will admit when I am wrong and I try to do the right things and one of those, in fact, the very top priority, is not wasting taxpayer money," said Brown, who plans on seeking re-election.
"I hate seeing anything wasted."
In fact, Brown feels so strongly about nothing being wasted, if he sees something can be done in effort to remedy the situation, he will try his best to resolve it.
For instance, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office has had old cooling systems for years. The water running off the chillers produces as much as 700 gallons of water a day.
"Being into livestock I know the importance of water so, when I noticed the constant water outside the building, I got with a few of the guys and we got a water catcher installed to capture all the excess water from the system."
The water collected is used by inmates to water all the yards and trees on county owned property.
"I don’t believe in ‘good days’, if you are sentenced to 6 months I think you need to serve your time," said Brown, a former Midlothian Police Department Officer.
If an inmate wants to volunteer to work a 40 hour work week then Brown will allow the inmate to have the weekend as "good days."
Inmates take care of all county lawn maintenance downtown with exception to the historic courthouse on the square.
An inmate with any violation of a class A or above is required to wear leg irons according to Brown.
Brown’s goal of saving money within the budget seemed hard for some critics of his to grasp.
"The inmates want out of their cell, so they would use the excuse of needing to see a doctor just to get out."
To curb the extra taxpayer money spent on paying for unnecessary visits, Brown has now implemented a co-pay system.
The cost for an inmate to see a nurse is $5 and the doctor is $10. "By no means does this mean if one can’t afford it they will not be given proper medical attention," said Brown.
"If they [the prisoners] can use their money to buy candy bars off the cart they can afford medical care."
"I do not credit myself at all for anything here, it’s all of my employees giving 110 percent everyday to make things happen the way they do," said Brown.
"I couldn’t do it without them."
So far, the ECSO has given back a total of $8,731.53 to the county’s general fund this quarter because of Brown’s money pinching ways.