Washington County Sheriff Otto Hanak asks the public to remain vigilant as the state, nation and world continue to change.
In a press release Thursday, Hanak said he does not have a clear answer for the issues that currently divide the United States, but assured he will not allow the lives and rights of citizens to be compromised. He asked that they “do not let our rights and freedoms be chipped away at until we no longer recognize this free and wonderful nation.”
Hanak also said that law enforcement agencies around the nation are struggling with staff shortages and few qualified applicants to address them. He blamed the situation on “the manner in which honorable, dedicated, and professional officers have been treated and dealt with elsewhere.”
Hanak’s full release can be read below:
As we all question the status of our world, nation, and even our great state, we must consider how and why we have arrived at a place that allows doubt, uncertainty, and sometimes even fear. Though we are in this difficult territory, we still have many things to be happy about, proud of, and thankful for, especially in Washington County. As I write this, I find no clear answer to the many issues that have surfaced and divided our country, however, we should all rely on God, a proven and worthy sovereign. A healthy menu of common sense also provides clarity and understanding to many things that do not seem real. Sometimes it seems that just a few years ago we were relaxed, calm, and enjoying life and in a minute, it all seemed to change. Even the foundations and freedoms that Americans enjoyed and took for granted seemed to change.
As the Sheriff of Washington County, I will continue to do the job I was elected to do and at no time will I allow the lives and rights of our citizens to be compromised. Quite the contrary, I will insist that those who violate these guidelines be held accountable to the rule of law. It is a proven fact that no country can exist without law and order and once it’s lost, it will spell disaster in many ways. Additionally, should our 2nd Amendment ever be set aside or reduced in its lawful version or value, trouble will be forthcoming and we will all be in a situation that may not even allow us to protect ourselves and families. I respectfully ask our citizens to remain vigilant and of all things, do not let our rights and freedoms be chipped away at until we no longer recognize this free and wonderful nation.
I also ask that you drive around our city and county and it will be obvious how the landscape of Washington County of just a few years ago has changed dramatically. As with any population growth, crime soon follows and we intend to do whatever it legally takes to either prevent, disrupt, or stop criminal activity in our county. On a side note, the citizens outside of the law enforcement community may not know it but every law enforcement agency nationwide is short staffed and without experienced or qualified applicants to fill vacancies. I blame these shortages on the manner in which honorable, dedicated, and professional officers have been treated and dealt with elsewhere. We hope and pray that this trend ends soon.
Please know that we will remain faithful and dedicated to our jobs and will continue to provide the services you all need, to the best of our abilities and training. As I have said before, I ask our citizens to be our eyes and ears when we are elsewhere and to make that call to report your suspicions. The non-emergency number for Washington County 911 Communications is (979) 277-7373.
I thank God each day for the life the citizens of Washington County have provided for our law enforcement officers and first responders. We are truly blessed and ask that you keep us in your prayers.
Be safe and God bless,
Sheriff Otto H. Hanak