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Commissioners hear budget requests

County commissioners heard budget requests Monday, including one for eight more  deputies from the Hockley County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff R.C. Cheek said rapid growth in the Oil Patch is poised to challenge local law enforcement.

‘The oil field’s coming and we’re not prepared,’ Cheek said. ‘I don’t know if it’ll come in six or eight months. I could use another man right now – out on the road.’

The peace officer said the rapid expansion of the oil field economy has led to a ‘quadrupling’ of many crime categories in counties south of here.

‘Everything’s quadrupled,’ he said. ‘It’s all quadrupled.’

He said he could use another criminal investigator immediately because one, Ray Scifres, recently resigned to take a job elsewhere.

Cheek hired Jimmy Davis as a sheriff’s deputy, but he still needs an investigator to replace Scifres.

He said Scifres had 27 ‘active investigations’ when he resigned, while investigator Sgt. Nolan Seaton currently has more than 30 such cases.

Cheek said he has six patrol deputies to cover the county 24/7.

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