Monday, May 28, 2007

Community policing in 1964, Texas style

I was reading Jamie Spencers blog, Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer, this morning and noticed he's not just an Austin lawyer, he practices in Hays County also. It reminded me of a personal story about community policing that happened in Hays County, Texas in 1964.

Trip to San Marcos

When I was 15 I had a summer job at a resort ranch in Wimberley Texas.
There was a beer joint on the other side of San Marcos, kind of like
that cowboy bar in Blues Brothers. They had live music on weekends and
if you were underage they'd staple a yellow ticket to your shirt collar
(you didn't get in if you didn't have a shirt with a collar back then)
at the door. At the back of the place they had a little window in the
wall so you could order beer. There were no actual employees on the
floor. Seating was on picnic tables, with a dance floor and a band
stand. I don't recall chicken wire in front of the band, but things
did get rough at times.

One Friday night me and some friends were coming back from there, going
through San Marcos I ran a red light. A deputy gave chase. I didn't
stop. West of town I took a turn on a ranch road with no lights and
without hitting the brakes. The deputy missed the turn so I lost him.
We all went home.

The next day I was out at Eagle Rock Ranch and a kid from town came in
and told me that CJ had sent him out to tell me to come into town to
talk to him. CJ was the constable (in Texas county precincts have
constables) and also was a barber with a barber shop in Wimberley.

So, I drove to town (in my car) and went into the barber shop.

CJ says, "You been to San Marcos recently, Gary?"

Me: "No, sir".

CJ: "Well, I got a phone call from the Sheriff this morning".

Me. Silent.

CJ: "He's looking for somebody who drives a car he got a description

Me. Oh.

CJ. "It's a Chevrolet".

Me. Silent.

CJ. "It's a convertible. 1954"

Me "Really?"

CJ "It's kinda orange colored. But, the driver's door is a light
blue. And the trunk lid is painted black"

Me: "oh".

CJ. "You ever seen a car like that?"

Me. "No sir, I don't think so"

CJ. "Well, if you do, you'll tell me, right?"

Me: "Yes sir".

CJ. "Okay, you go on now".

I turned to leave. he says "You planning on going into San Marcos
anytime soon"

Me: "No sir"

CJ. "Well, iffen I was you, I wouldn't go to San Marcos for a real
long time".

I had originally published this biographical sketch at my main website.

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