Collin County Patrol Unit ‘Critically Understaffed’: Sheriff

Collin County is one of the fastest growing counties in Texas.

It’s growing so fast that Sheriff Jim Skinner now said his staff is struggling to keep up.

In a recent letter to County Commissioners, Skinner said the population and calls for service have increased and so have response times.

The letter says the department has 33 patrol deputies.

The sheriff wants to increase that number to 48 by late next year by adding deputies and transferring deputies from other departments to the patrol division, which he said is “severely understaffed” in his letter. 

The 31-page document, obtained by NBC 5, paints a bleak outlook on public safety in Collin County, as it stands.

Between 2007 and 2016, the letter states:

  • The average response time in the county went from six to 20 minutes.
  • Calls that took 40 minutes or more for a deputy to respond grew by 497 percent.
  • Stacked calls -- or calls waiting in line -- grew by 458 percent.

Traffic on main roads like Highways 75, 380 and 121 have become barriers, the letter said, to a deputies’ ability to move about the county.

The letter comes just seven months into Skinner’s tenure as Collin County's top cop.

Right now, he said the county sends one deputy to each of its five districts per day.

In an expanding county, he writes, "The risks to public and officer safety under minimum staffing of one patrol deputy per district each day are too high and are unacceptable. The Patrol Section is critically understaffed.”

For now, he wants to add eight new deputies to the patrol unit, and is asking county commissioners to pay for one of those positions.

Skinner wasn't available for comment Saturday.

Collin County Commissioners will consider his request during budget meetings that begin next month.

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