Welcome to the Ector County
Ector County covers an area of just over 900 square miles in the petroleum-rich Permian Basin region of West Texas.
The Sheriff's Office, which consists of two Departments with several Divisions in each, employs 235 people comprised of 73 sworn peace officers in the Law Enforcement Department, 23 sworn peace officers in the Detention Department, with the remainder being detention officers and civilians. The Detention Center is a state certified facility with a housing capacity of 667 inmates. The Law Enforcement Center, both Sheriff's Office and Detention Center, are located one-half mile south of Interstate Highway 20 on US Highway 385, South of the city of Odessa.
The Sheriff's Office Administration building is open from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday thru Friday, except on county holidays. The Detention Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A brief history of the office of Sheriff in Texas
In 1827, Stephen F. Austin requested and received authorization for establishment of Constitutional Government in his colony. The Constitution of the State of Texas established the Office of the Sheriff, Article 5, Section 23, of the Texas Constitution states: There shall be elected by the qualified voters of each county a Sheriff who shall hold his office for the term of four years, whose duties and prerequisite, and fees of office shall be prescribed by the Legislature, and vacancies in whose office shall be filled by the Commissioners' Court until the next general election. The first sheriff in Texas was appointed in 1828. Sheriff's were the first civil law enforcement officers in the state, and, with the exception of Constables and a few city Police Chiefs, are still the only law enforcement officers who answer directly to the people.
All legal power and authorization for the primary responsibilities of the Office of the Sheriff is cited throughout Vernon's annotated Texas Statutes, including Civil Statutes, Penal Code, and Code of Criminal Procedure.
The major duties of the Sheriff are to serve as conservator of the peace, and act as executive of the County and District Courts serving their writs, subpoenas, processes, etc. In addition, he has charge of the jail and prisoners and maintains investigative and patrol functions.
The Sheriff selects his own Deputies within whom are invested the powers and duties of peace officers as defined by Texas law, the responsibility to:
1. Preserve public peace
2. Protect life and property
3. Prevent and control crime through presence and by the detection and arrest of violators of State and Federal laws over which they have jurisdiction.