At the July Liberty County Sheriff’s Office general meeting, Sheriff Bobby Rader named LCSO livestock Deputy Ray Winkler as the employee of the month. Winkler is the only livestock Officer for Liberty County as was pointed out at a recent convention.
Winkler is on-duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and averages 20 to 25 livestock calls each week with many of these calls late night calls and on week-ends during his off-duty hours. In responding to these calls, he has saved the county a tremendous amount of money as he and other deputies have handled situations themselves without having to call in outside assistance from private organizations.
Winkler is no stranger to long hours and being on call as he has approximately 28 years of law enforcement experience under his belt and is well-versed in his assigned duties.
Having graduated from the Delmar College Police Academy in Corpus Christi in 1994, he first hired on with the Kleberg Sheriff’s Office, then later transferred to the U.S. Boarder Patrol. He then was hired on to Harris County Pct. 4 Constable’s Office and later to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission where he spent 12 years before coming to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
“His heart is fully into his present assignment as livestock Officer as he tried to help land owners secure their cattle when they escape fencing, and to do that, Winkler carries post, wire and tools to mend a fence in a temporary fashion for landowners until they can arrive and make permanent repairs. He has put his master certification to good use in the Patrol Division and now as the livestock officer for the county,” said Capt. Ken DeFoor, a spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.
During these 28 years of service, Winkler has attended many law enforcement related schools such as Executive Protection, Undercover narcotic Investigators class, Search and Rescue techniques as well as K-9 Handling to name only a few. He says his most memorable case was when he stopped a truck pulling a horse trailer with two “sway back” horses in the trailer. The driver gave conflicting accounts of a rodeo he was going to and that he was a level 15 roper when there are actually only 10 levels for ropers.
These inconsistent explanations led to a consent to search the horse trailer, and behind a false wall, Winkler discovered over 200 Kilos of cocaine. When asked his reasons for becoming a Peace Officer, he simply said that it is a “calling and something that he knew he should do.”
Winkler is married with two grown children and his favorite hobby is fishing. His said his ultimate goal is to retire someday so he and his wife can enjoy fishing on their favorite lake.