Bailey, Lamb county sheriffs honored at White House event

BY GAIL M. WILLIAMS
Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

Among those honored at a White House event held Aug. 20 were Bailey County Sheriff Richard Wills and Lamb County Sheriff Gary Maddox.
The event was titled Salute to the Heroes of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (Customs and Border Protection).
Law enforcement officials from across the country attended the event, which included a tour of Washington, D.C., and a panel discussion featuring top ICE and CBP officials.
White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp led the discussion which ranged over issues such as the MS-13 gang, terrorism and drug trafficking, proposals to abolish ICE, deployment of the National Guard, and securing the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We work very closely with ICE and BCP throughout the state,” Wills said. “As recently as a month ago, we had 18 (undocumented) inmates. ICE detainees clog up our jails, most of them with pretty serious charges. On a felony, it can take 90 days before the trial gets set.”
Wills referred to a crime that took place back in January in which a suspect allegedly murdered his girlfriend and rode off with her body in the back of a truck.
Wills said the White House event provided an opportunity for him and other honorees to show their support for what the president is doing in border protection.
“All law enforcement is doing a very good job,” Wills said.
The group also heard from Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.
“I sat 10 feet away from the president, which is a pretty big honor for me,” Wills said. “You look over all the states, Utah, Arizona, everybody has immigration problems. It’s time for the parties to get involved, for Republicans and Democrats to come together and give us some reform on border patrol and an immigration policy that sheriffs can work with.”

Last week, law enforcement officials were honored by President Donald Trump for their service to BCP and ICE. Pictured from left to right are: Sheriff Gary Maddox, Lamb County; Sheriff Jim Skinner, Collin County; Sheriff Richard Wills, Bailey County; Sheriff Michael Lewis, Wicomico County, Maryland; and Sheriff Mark Lamb, Pinal County, Ariz.

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