BELL COUNTY (September 18, 2013)—None of the deputies working for the Bell County Sheriff’s Department is certified to perform field sobriety tests when suspected drunken drivers are stopped, but Sheriff Eddy Lange says he’s working to change that.
Lange said it was the previous administration's policy to call a Department of Public trooper to the scene whenever deputies pulled over a driver they suspected of being intoxicated.
In the event a driver was intoxicated, the responding trooper would then handle the arrest, Lange said.
Lange said the policy created a situation that took DPS troopers away from their duties and he doesn't want any of his deputies passing up on duties they should be taking care of.
All BCSO deputies have already gone through some of the paperwork process training for DWI arrests provided by DPS.
Next month two more training sessions are scheduled as the department works to certify all 30 field deputies in Bell County.
BCSO Training Officer Mike Perez said along with DPS the department is working with the Texas Municipal Police Association to get the training completed.
Perez said the TMPA utilizes grant money to get training for police departments so taxpayers don't have to pay the bill.
Lange said when he took office nine months ago he was unable to find any records for DWI arrests by the BCSO going several years back.