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Thread: Fort Bend County Citizens' Auxiliary

  1. #1
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    I am starting a group in FB County to gather veterans and citizens together to form a group that can respond to emergencies, disasters and generally support law and order in Fort Bend County.

    We are meeting at the IHOP at the corner of Sweetwater and 59 one week from today, April 10, at 1130.

    Our goal is to form teams unified under the main group composed of people who have useful skills, like SAR operations, medical experience, etc. We would also be looking to form teams that can do small unit ops.

    There is the Texas Border Volunteers in South Texas that operates off this model, and they are very successful at it. They have forged very strong relationships with law enforcement up and down the chain of command in South Texas. This is our objective, to prove that citizens can effectively mobilize to assist the sheriff and help maintain law and order in perilous times.

    I spoke to the sheriff about this, and he has given his informal approval. When I spoke to him about this, I was trying to form a militia. After doing the research, I discovered that we can't form a militia unless there is a state statute that authorizes it, because the militias that existed until the earl 20th century were state sponsored. After doing the due diligence, my planning partner and I decided to change the name to better reflect the legal reality. We also discovered that we get a very favorable response from people we talk to in the county. we have put some signs to advertise this in gun stores and outdoor stores, and we had one guy join up who I have never met before.

    If you are interested, please let me know, or just show up Saturday at IHOP at the corner of Sweetwater and 59 at 1130.

    Thanks

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    Regular Member Rottie's Avatar
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    There is something out there already that is similar to what you are trying to set up, minus the LEO assist component. In Utah we have been utilizing this training for quite sometime. I offer this only as a resource for you.If this does not already exist in your area and you would like to start it, there is a tab for starting the program in your own area. Take a look at the link. Again I only offer it as a resource for you. Good luck.

    http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/index.shtm

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    Rottie,

    It looks good, but it is part of Citizen Corps, which is tied into FEMA central. I am not sure if we would want to be attached to their network. What is your experience with CitizenCorps/CERT?

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Fema is also now a part of DHS. Beware of BATFE infiltrators and informants. What Imean to emphasize is to stay very strictly within the law, lest you wind up in court or a body bag.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    RodBender,

    That is the whole point of the exercise, to stay within the bounds of the law. My operating model is the TBV. They are very successful at working withing the law, and actually working with law enforcement, DPS, BP, Texas Rangers, even the USCG. My goal is to show the sheriff that he can count on the FBX to support him and answer the call if he ever needs us to respond to disasters, hurricanes, or other crises.

    Since this is our goal, any infiltrators will be easy to pick out, especially when they start talking about explosives and assassinations of public figures. I won't be fooled, and I will educate the other group members so they won't be tricked either. The Hutaree will be a learning tool in our group training.

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    We had three people at our first meeting. I guess everything starts small. I am meeting with the Sheriff Friday to update him on our progress, and our next meeting is on May 8, location TBD. I will post the location once I have confirmed it, in case anyone is interested in attending.

    Thanks,

  7. #7
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    Rottie,

    I am a CERT member down here.

    The issue of firearms never comes up and probably would not be well received if itDID come up. I don't know if any CERT member here has a CHL or carries while on CERT missions. Still it IS epmhasized that although we are CERT members (and are issued a county CERT ID card), we ALSO are considered VOLUNTEERSand STILL an independentcitizen...so we can accept the call to a CERT missionor not. Likewise, and again as independentcitizens, we should be free to CC if we wish. In states allowing OC, that might be an issue on CERT missions (even CCing might beso I have adopted a "don't ask/don't tell" policy myself).

    But I can say that CERT training is always useful and you can take that with you into a more suitable organization. One would not have to give up being a CERT member, but it probably would be best to be descrete in that environment re: firearms (and carrying).

    Down here, chemical disasters (hazmat/petrochemical plants/hazmat tanker trucks and hazmat train wrecks) is the main threat withhurricanes/tornadoes/storm surges/floodingbeing a close 2nd. Living on an island, hurricanes/storm surgestopMY emergency preparedness list. SinceI do not (evacuate regardless of the storm's strength) I'm gong to BE here anyway, so I thought I might as well get some training and CERT seems the best fit for that).

    I recommend CERT training for EVERYONE (go to the CERT classes the next time they are offered in your community and keep going to CERT activtes/continuing education to keep your CERT County ID card active) as it is useful anywhere you go, but it would not be suitable for missions like the OP spoke about aboveas it is beyond the scope of the CERT program.

    -- John D.

    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    I have over twenty years as a CERT Member and instructor. I can teach the program.

  9. #9
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    Just an update re: CERT and firearms, at least here in Galveston County, TX.

    Just recently, our Galveston County CERT coordinator had a document drawn up (no such thing until now -- maybe it was a "Don't ask, don't tell" policy up until now) that is basically a waiver for any and all liability for us if we were to get hurt or killed while volunteering, any damage to our vehciles, and no liability even if something happened to us even ifit was due tonegligence on the county'spart. And any medical care received would be at our own expense (yet everyone else, first responders and disaster victims, is covered).

    So I got online andresearched CERT programs in other states and found some of themALSOalso have this general liability waiver formCERT members MUST sign to stay on the active CERT list. But thedifference OURShas is a 'weapons' clause, meaning we are not to have any weapons on us during CERT deployments, and no guns even if we have a valid TX CHL to carry one otherwise.

    I don't know why (reason, what caused this) all of a sudden to make ano-gun clause be added, but it has.

    Consequently, we will be in harm's way of some people who may be dangerous (drunk, on crack, whatever) on the busses or in rescue shelters or don't want to comply with instructions and get violent, andwe'll have no way to protect ourselves (or others). And there may or may not be any cops nearby you can call on if someone becomes hostile.

    So in this case, our county's CERT program decided that they had to include a no firearms policy...which makes me feel vulnerable now as I have to give up being responsible for my OWN personal safety and turn it over to others who may not (probably won't) be there. So I'm back to square one.

    On one hand they tell us as volunteers, not official or paid county employees, weare still a citizen, and still have the rights of a citizen, but then they tell to give up our citizen rights whenwe work with them.And that they have no liability for you whatsoever -- what bad things HAPPEN to you even if they would otherwise be liable (EVERYONE should be liable for negligence) -- yet they give you all those restrictions. If they're not liable/have no responsibility forus, then why care what we would legally have or not have on us otherwise?

    What a double standard.

    So if we want to serve our communities/help others during a disaster (man-made or natural, like during this 2010 hurricane season that is expected to be the worst ever) -- which is why we went through the CERT training program to begin with, to serveour communities and helpour neighbors-- we must sign the waiver of liability/no-guns document.

    -- John D.
    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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