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First day on the job: Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop discusses changes planned for department

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Jan 02 2013 10:26:56 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 03 2013 08:21:11 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Ricky Bishop was sworn in as Taylor County Sheriff just after midnight on January first. One of the first things his to-do list is to change the pursuit policy that prevents officers from going above the speed limit to pull someone over.   

"State law says that we can do that to do our job, so that's one of the policies that's going to be modified to allow officers to make traffic stops to contact violators," said Bishop.  

Without the ability to catch people who are speeding, Bishop said they miss finding dangerous people.  

"We’re going to catch a lot of these wanted people and criminals in traffic stops," he said.   

He also said jail staff needs more training to catch criminals who may be attempting an escape or trying to get drugs. 

Bishop joined the Taylor County Sheriff's Office in 1999. He said his experience working in the jail and as a patrol deputy gave him ideas to improve the department. One of the things he wants to upgrade is the technology in patrol cars.

"Computers for the vehicles MDTs you know similar to what the police department and DPS have so we can check license plates, check for wanted people in the vehicles," said Bishop.

He thinks deputies are being lost to other departments that agree to pay them a little more.

"One of my major priorities is the pay that we are going to be looking at and going to budget this round to try and get some pay raises for some people," said Bishop.

Former Sheriff Les Bruce lost in the primary runoff election to Ricky Bishop. Since then Bishop said he hasn’t heard from Bruce. 

"I don't now what he's done. He hasn't asked for a job," Bishop said.

 Bishop said if Bruce did want to come back to work for the Sheriff’s Department, he would still have a fair shot.

"If he would like a job, you know fill out an application and we'll look at it," said Bishop.