With funds from the drug forfeiture, the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department purchased a building and lot for additional offices. Recently the annex, located on Old Kingsville Road, was bought by the department for approximately $52,000.
The Sheriff's Office, Chamber of Commerce and Alice Ambassadors held a grand opening of the building to celebrate the expansion of the sheriff's office.
The building, formerly the Texas Highway Department, consists of offices for sheriff staff and other law enforcement officials such as the local Game Warden. It will also include an office for Precinct 4 commissioner.
"We are excited to have the place," said JWC Sheriff Daniel Bueno. "No taxpayer money was used to buy the annex and with the purchase we will be saving money for the taxpayers. Before the lot was purchased we had to rent space to store seized vehicles. Now, we can store them on our own property and even conduct vehicle auctions."
According to Bueno and sheriff officials, the department was spending $12,000 a year to store their seized vehicles.
Since taking office in 2017, Bueno has formed several coalitions with different law enforcement agencies in the area.
"We can host more meetings and training sessions at the annex," Bueno stated. "The size of the building and its parking lot helps us invite more people."
Another annex opened in Premont to help residents conduct county business in town instead of having to make a trip into Alice.