Friday, September 4, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search


Lost & Found

*Includes FREE photo online! mywcn.com/lostandfound
Lost: Small black/white tortoise shell cat, 1-1/2 years old, Aug. 8, Country Hills area, La Vernia, friendly, "Cinnamon" but responds to "Kitty," rhinestone collar w/bell, shots, spayed. Reward! 210-725-8082.

VideoStill missing: Long hair Chihuahua, near 3rd and Hwy. 97, Floresville, she is very missed. If you see her please call Jeri, 409-781-3191.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

LANDSCAPERS NEEDED - Local landscape maintenance company seeking full-time laborers looking to grow with the company. Mowing, weed-eating, edging, trimming, etc. Must have experience and transportation to/from work. Serious inquiries call/email now, 210-215-6476 or maintenance@t-scapes.com.
Caregivers needed. Call 830-431-2389. 
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos





Video Vault ›
RE/MAX homeTNMCRichardson Chevrolet home
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Section A: General News


China Grove shuts down police department




E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story

Wilson County News
December 18, 2013 | 1,625 views | Post a comment

Until further notice, China Grove residents will receive their police protection via the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and the Bexar County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office, following the China Grove City Council’s vote during a Dec. 9 special meeting to indefinitely suspend the China Grove Police Department.

Former Officer Damian Balderas said that he, former Chief Larry Davis, and former Reserve Officer John Jenkins Jr. met Dec. 10 with Mayor Pro Tem Doug Pruski to sign severance agreements and to turn in their uniforms. As part of the agreement, the officers also shut down the department’s Facebook page.

Mayor Eugene Ripps said on the morning after the Dec. 9 meeting that the council voted 4-0-1 in favor of the move. His wife, Alderman Cathy Ripps, abstained.

The mayor said suspension of the police department is not a permanent decision, and that it could be reopened once policies and procedures are established for police officers and other city employees. Former Mayor Dennis Dunk said such policies were enacted during his term in office.

“I wished it could have went some other way,” Mayor Ripps said. “Legal advice told me this was my option.”

Dunk raised questions over the legality of the meeting, which was held at 4 p.m. and not attended by any members of the general public or by any of the department’s officers. Notice of the meeting was not posted on the city’s official website in accordance with state law and it is unknown whether a notice was posted at China Grove City Hall at least 72 hours before the meeting.

Dunk does not know how a notice could have been posted because both the city secretary and court clerk are part-time employees who do not report to work on Fridays.

Mayor Ripps said he hopes that the Texas Rangers will conduct an investigation of the department, in light of allegations of officers not being on patrol in the city, which he said were raised by Police Chief Larry Davis and by residents. Mayor Ripps said residents complained of seeing police vehicles in other areas of the county, not in China Grove.

“We had one month where they wrote zero tickets,” he said.

Balderas, who worked with the department for more than two years, refuted Ripps’ claims and said he has records of every citation that he wrote during his tenure in China Grove. The council raised similar concerns at an earlier meeting, despite the Texas Transportation Code’s prohibition of traffic-offense quotas.

The subject of ticket quotas first was raised in a three-page letter Balderas wrote to Dunk and former City Secretary Susan Conaway about a conversation he had with Alderman John McRae. The former officer alleged that McRae chided him over writing too many tickets.

“I am in fear that because of this complaint, I am putting the department and myself at the risk of retaliation by Mr. McRae,” Balderas wrote.

Balderas also said that rumors in the community indicate that Alderman Mike Trainor -- a 21-year veteran of the San Antonio Police Department -- wanted to do away with the department so that he could become chief after it is re-established.

“That’s pretty far-fetched,” Trainor said. “That’s something I can’t do even if I wanted to.”

China Grove is east of San Antonio along U.S. 87, a highway considered by other area law-enforcement agencies as a narcotics corridor. While Mayor Ripps expressed confidence over Bexar County’s ability to keep the city safe in the face of such activity, Dunk said the sheriff’s office only has one deputy dedicated to that quadrant of the county at any given time.

Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rosanne Hughes would not address potential manpower issues, but said that deputies -- who patrolled the city prior to the China Grove Police Department’s formation in 2007 -- have aided the department in the past and are patrolling the city in a full-time capacity.

Hughes also said the sheriff’s office is awaiting notification from the city with regard to open criminal investigations and the transfer of the chain of custody for evidence and property stored in the police station.

McRae, former police Chief Larry Davis, and City Attorney Steve Peña could not be reached for comment prior to press time Dec. 16.
 

Your Opinions and Comments


Be the first to comment on this story!


You must be logged in to post a comment.




Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Section A: General News Archives


Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Brownlow: Little chance ‘fracking’ could hurt water (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. City’s proposed budget, property taxes raise questions (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. County Commisioners ‘buckle up’ on $24M budget (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Court Update (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. De Leon family sells Olivia’s San Antonio location (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Distracted driving program new requirement for teens (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Coca-Cola to obese people: Hey, exercise more! (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: How will voters sort through all the candidates? (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Editorial: Libs: Symbols mean something — unless we disagree (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville awards contract for event center repairs (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville elections take twists (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Floresville struggles to ‘play ball’ (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Free webinar series for small businesses (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. From student job to interim manager (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Karnes airport gets $2.1M in funding (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Labor Day office closures (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Karnes County officials continue spending (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Urgent: Nix Iran deal (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Letter: Voter ID thumbprint (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Make your way to Feather Fest (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. MedDropSA is Sept. 5 (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Meeting Watch: East Central ISD (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Oscar Mayer issues recall (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Paid firefighters could aid La Vernia volunteers (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Police Blotter (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Register to compete in Adult Literacy challenge (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Relay committee to meet Sept. 8 (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. SARA approves study of Floresville’s River Park (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Sponsors needed for Conversation with Constitution event (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Stockdale council approves $2.07M 2015-16 budget (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Substitute teacher training dates set (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. TEA lauds Falls City, Poth (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. The best medicine (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. VA cuts backlog (September 2, 2015)
Full article available to Wilson County News subscribers only. Click here to subscribe. Welcome back! (September 2, 2015)