As thousands of private citizens bravely responded with their individually owned boats and resources to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, nearby Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez waited to mobilize a single boat crew to assist with the disaster.
Sheriff Hernandez did not authorize mobilizing deputies to assist with rescue efforts until Wednesday – waiting on a formal ‘mutual aid request’ before mobilizing. The request guarantees that departments will be reimbursed for costs incurred and also serves as part of an organized effort.
“We have a responsibility to the taxpayers who own our assets and to the personnel whose lives are at risk to execute our efforts according to protocol,” Hernandez told her department via memo.
It’s not often hardline Democrats profess their fiduciary obligations to taxpayers, but when they do it’s usually pretty baffling. It is odd that Hernandez suddenly feels so strongly about adhering to federal guidelines, considering she had no intention of following them when it came to illegal immigration and ICE detainers.
It also just goes to demonstrate how burdensome excessive bureaucracy can be. Contrast that with the thousands of individual Texans who stepped in immediately, offering their personal boats, time, and treasure to assist with efforts as soon as they were able – who made the biggest difference of all.
In fact, other public safety entities deployed rather quickly – including the nearby Williamson County Sheriff’s department. Sheriff Robert Chody sent deputies as early as Sunday afternoon – with no such expectation for reimbursement.
“I’m not going to worry about some stupid protocols,” Chody said. “The right thing is the right thing.”
It has been said that in times of crisis that good leaders emerge. It would seem the reverse is true as well.