Livestock and theft prevention program in JWC gets featured in state magazine
With 350 participants and counting, ranchers and farmers in Jim Wells County have helped Sheriff Daniel Bueno's Loose Livestock and Theft Prevention Program surpasses his goal. The program is being recognized throughout the State of Texas.
Recently, The Cattleman Magazine featured Sheriff Bueno, his department and the program dedicated to help ranchers and farmers in JWC in the July 2021 issue.
"We're thrilled to be featured in The Texas Cattleman Magazine. We do have strong ties between ranchers and law enforcement in Jim Wells County," Sheriff Bueno said. "We thank the ranchers and farmers of Jim Wells County for helping us promote this program and without them we couldn't have done it.”
The sheriff's department has hosted several meetings, inviting farmers and ranchers from around the county to share information about the program. The program started in 2017 with approximately 35 ranchers and farmers.
The program is spearheaded by Lt. Alan Gonzalez and is free for anyone. It is funded through grants, donations from landowners in the county and the county's drug forfeiture fund.
Just fill out a questionnaire with property and owner information and stored at the department. All information is confidential and can only accessible to law enforcement personnel during a incident to resolve an issue on behalf of landowner or to contact the landowner, Lt. Gonzalez said.
"We partner with Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association a lot on cases that involve livestock theft. The program is a tool to law enforcement and save us time in identifying the owners and ranchers," he said. "This is a national level circulation magazine. Not only do all sheriffs office get it, but a lot of times you'll go into the doctor's office and it'll be there...Makes you feel really good to be part of something special.
The sheriff's department has coordinated with other law enforcement agencies on how they can start the program in their area.
“You don't have to be a cattle livestock owner to be in this program. Because of the identification number, we're able to identify the owners and let them know that their fences have been driven into and broken,” Sheriff Bueno said.
"This program has been utilized by agencies outside of Jim Wells County. I've heard Brooks County in pursuit. They've gone through a fence at 5 in the morning and they have used the plaque numbers to identify the ranchers,” Gonzalez said. “It's also been utilized by Department of Public Safety troopers without knowing the program. They are able to easily identify the property.”
Gonzalez said they've recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property and animals all at no cost to the farmers, ranchers or taxpayers.
"We're headed forward. Everyday we worry about our farmers, ranchers and the citizens of Jim Wells County...One program out of many to serve the hardworking and dedicated members of the farming and ranching community," Bueno said. “We are being proactive
Bueno is also a rancher and cattle owner in the county. He understands the problems and financial expenses that come with thefts, loose livestock and the smuggling of undocumented immigrants.
He wants to remind everyone that this program is just one program out of many the department works on to keep everyone safe.
“We are pleased with the recognition, but it's about doing our job and keeping promises to the citizens of the community,” Bueno said.