Earlier today, many people from Martin County and surrounding areas gathered at the Grand Opening and Open House of the Dan Saunders Law Enforcement Center, located at 3522 Interstate 20 in Stanton. During the dedication it was noted that Saunders had served as the Sheriff of Martin County through 4 decades and was an icon in in the community. He served as Sheriff from 1953 until his retirement in 1992.
Sheriff Saunders was the youngest sheriff to be elected into office at the time, and when he retired he was the longest serving sheriff in Texas. Since then, both of those titles have been passed on to other people.
Sid Saunders, son of the Sheriff Saunders, told KBest News that the Saunders family was very honored and proud to have both of his parents honored at the event, noting that his father wouldn't have been able to do his job without the help of his wife. When asked how he felt to see such a large turnout at the event, Sid stated, "We're very touched. Daddy had a lot of respect and a lot of love in this county. Everybody called him 'Mr. Dan'. They loved him and we're proud of it."
During the event, it was noted that the Martin County Commissioners Kenny Stewart, Pct. 1; Robin Barnes, Pct. 2; Bobby Holland, Pct. 3; and Koy Blocker, Pct. 4.; along with County Judge Bryan Cox were to be thanked for planning and finding funding for the project.
Keynote speakers for the event included Martin County Judge Bryan Cox, Member of the Texas House of Representative for the 82nd District Tom Craddick, and Sid Saunders. Representative Craddick read a resolution commending current Martin County Sheriff Brad Ingram and the Martin County Commissioners and Judge Cox for the dedication of the Dan Saunders Law Enforcement Center. The resolution was signed by every member of the Texas House of Representatives.
The new law enforcement center is larger than the current one in use. Sheriff Ingram noted that the new facility has more room for staff and to house offenders, including an indoor recreation area, and a medical area where a medical doctor will make bi-weekly visits.
"It's just gonna be a much...safer environment for the community," said Sheriff Ingram.
He noted that the project had been in progress for about 4 years. "It's a great day in my career," said Ingram. Sheriff Ingram has been the current County Sheriff for 4 years, and has been in law enforcement for 32 years.