By Sahar Chmais
HAYS COUNTY – To stop or catch the distribution of child pornography, sex trafficking and other crimes, Hays County Commissioners Court approved out-of-state training for Detective Nelson Wray. A resident disapproved.
“There’s a shortage of deputies … they don’t have enough people to cover what’s there,” said Rodrigo Amaya, who ran for Hays County Sheriff in 2016. “And they’re sending folks out, jeopardizing their safety with COVID and y’all are okay with it. What do I need to do, court,” Amaya said, beginning to speak in Spanish. “ … I’m tired of this corruption, cronyism that y’all seem to think is normal at the expense of the taxpayers – sitting up there with your fancy little suits and your pens writing notes.”
Amaya, an outspoken resident who shows up to every court meeting, took issue with the Mac Forensics Training Course and repeated his popular phrase, “you can’t justify this.” He also opposed a second item on the agenda, which is the county’s acceptance of Narcan nasal spray donations, valued at $7,200, for the sheriff’s office. Narcan is a nasal spray that prevents death in case of drug overdose.
“I’m very supportive of training,” said Commissioner Lon Shell. “I can’t imagine someone arguing that we should not have the best training possible for law enforcement officers. We pay federal taxes, why not get those to our advantage locally… why not accept training.”
Captain Mark Cumberland from the Hays County Sheriff’s office said Wray’s primary investigations are based on computers, where child pornography is a major issue. Wray is vital in almost every major criminal case that the sheriff’s office handles because of all the phones and computers that need to be processed. It is critical that Wray goes to this 12-day course in Hoover, Alabama, which is paid for by the federal government, Cumberland added.
When it comes to child pornography, sex trafficking and other issues occurring in this booming area on the I-35 corridor, Shell said he could not find a reason not to support the training.
Once again, Amaya pleaded with the commissioners on another issue, not to accept the donation of Narcan and said “you cannot justify this.”
However, commissioners also voted to accept the donation and found justification in accepting the 96 units of Narcan. Shell said that this could be very important in the interaction with individuals suffering from overdoses.
“I can’t imagine we would not want our officers equipped with something like this, that can… potentially save lives and bring a solution to a problem,” Shell addressed the court.
Both items passed unanimously.