Residents: Lengthy law enforcement response times in rural areas a years-long issue

KENS 5 learned lengthy response times in the most rural areas has apparently been a problem for years.

UVALDE COUNTY - There's a chronic concern that Uvalde County residents say far pre-dates the fatal bus crash tragedy that killed 13 last week.
 
KENS 5 learned lengthy response times in the most rural areas has apparently been a problem for years.
 
An overwhelming amount of viewers in that area began to bring this to our attention after the fatal accident last Wednesday.
 
Concan resident April Burgin knows the concerns all too well.
 
"Unless someone happens to be patrolling in our area, it's probably going to take them a minimum of 30 minutes or so to get to us," Burgin said.
 
She said Concan residents need more support and more patrols.
 
"There's more support from our Game Wardens a lot of times because there's more of them in the area," said Burgin.
 
This is especially needed, she said, during the summer when the county's population doubles on weekends. Between Memorial Day and September, thousands flock to Concan to float the Frio River.
 
The normal population of Concan is just over 100 people.
 
Uvalde County deputies cover 1,600 square miles.
 
"We love having people to celebrate this beautiful country we have around us, but we also want to make sure people respect it," Burgin said.
 
Burgin also said weekend crowds lead directly to more noise, more crime and more car accidents. 
 
"We draw a line on our property because we have two young children and tell our kids, 'No, you can't go past this point,' because we've had our fence knocked down twice and our neighbors had their fence knocked down once by drunk drivers," Burgin said.
 
KENS 5 pressed the county's leaders for answers.
 
We made multiple attempts to contact the Uvalde County Sheriff over the phone and in person to ask about these complaints.
 
All calls went unanswered.
 
But Uvalde County Judge, William R. Mitchell, did talk to us.
 
He said he heard the same complaints at a meeting in Concan a month ago, before the fatal accident, where a resident expressed patrol concerns directly to county officials.
 
However, he said those concerns focused on river and resort patrols. Not Highway 83 where the accident happened.
 
"Just more law enforcement presence because of the fact that we do have such a large influx of people during the tourist season, during the summer months," Mitchell said.
 
Mitchell said the proposed plan to put more deputies in the resort areas of Concan will be considered by commissioners court during budget hearings in June.
 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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