Mayor and Council Members of Agua Dulce Earmark Grants Funds from Wyatt Ranches to Resurrect City Marshal’s Office for Community Protection
Wyatt Ranches has donated $200,000 to the City of Agua Dulce on behalf of The Wyatt Foundation. The Mayor and City Council Members have earmarked these grant funds to resurrect their City Marshal’s Office and provide law enforcement services, police protection, and code enforcement for their community.
Mayor John Howard had originally contacted Wyatt Ranches in 2017, requesting funds for greater law enforcement after all of the City’s maintenance equipment, valued at approximately $80,000, was stolen. In addition, brazen daytime burglaries in Agua Dulce were on the rise. However, after a recent incident in May of this year, when gunshots were discharged from a motor vehicle passing through the City, the Mayor again contacted Wyatt Ranches, reiterating a desperate need for community protection and law enforcement in Agua Dulce. Earlier this month, the urgent-need funding for community-oriented law enforcement, in the amount of $200,000, was presented by The Wyatt Foundation to the City of Agua Dulce.
Tracing the town’s origins back to the early 1900’s, the City of Agua Dulce’s charter called for the appointment of a City Marshal. In May of 1940, A. S. Langham was the first City Marshal to serve the City of Agua Dulce and the office remained active in the 1940’s. Now, almost eighty years later, the Mayor and City Council have elected to resurrect the City Marshal’s Office to again provide for the protection of their residents’ lives and property. Under the laws of Texas, marshals of an incorporated city or town, such as Agua Dulce, have the same authority as municipal police officers of an incorporated city, town, or village.
Mayor John Howard, who previously served as a city councilman for approximately eight years, was recently re-elected and now enters his fourth year as the City’s Mayor. Mayor Howard said, “The main emphasis for these funds will be for the protection of our residents in Agua Dulce; and, to also network with other area law enforcement agencies to better serve and protect the surrounding community as well.” Mayor Howard said, “…all members of Council are very excited and supportive of resurrecting the City Marshal’s Office to deter crime in this area.”
The City is accepting applications for City Marshal; and, shortly thereafter, applications will be accepted for a Deputy City Marshal. Mayor Howard stated the application process and subsequent appointment of the City Marshal would include an interview before a selection committee, comprised of area law enforcement leaders (to include elected office-holders and appointed chiefs) as well as members of Agua Dulce’s City Council.
The City of Agua Dulce is located along the Kansas City Southern railway and the State Highway 44 corridor on the western edge of Nueces County and neighboring Jim Wells County. In addition to Mayor Howard, the City Council includes: Carl Vajdos, who serves as the Mayor Pro Tem; Elaine Black; Ramon Ovalle; Freddie Perez; and Kenny Riley. Ninfa Acuna serves as the City’s Secretary.
Situated in South Texas and also in West Texas, Wyatt Ranches has six cattle ranching divisions. These cattle ranches are scattered south from Agua Dulce to the Rio Grande River; and west from Marfa to Valentine, with some ranches supplemented with agricultural farming operations. The Wyatt Foundation is headquartered in Realitos, Texas, and has made numerous donations to area governmental entities and non-profit organizations in the rural areas of both South and West Texas.