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6 Investigates: Aransas County DA, Rockport PD cite progress in working out differences

Posted at 6:11 PM, May 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-02 19:32:03-04


The Aransas County District Attorney and Rockport Police on Wednesday announced their “effort to continue improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Rockport Police Department and the Aransas County criminal justice system.”

The announcement comes almost two years after Aransas County D.A. Kristen Barnebey announced she would no longer accept cases from the Rockport Police Department, a move that has drawn widespread questions and criticism as Rockport residents wonder whether their town has become a “free crime zone.”

However, the announcement stops short of committing Barnebey, or the Police, to a specific course of action, and gives no timeline on when, or if, Barnebey will again accepting cases.

Barnebey ignored our request for an interview.

But, the interim in charge of Rockport’s Police Department told 6 Investigates he’s hopeful the announcement signals a step in the right direction.

Interim Civilian Police Administrator Fred Fletcher said he’s “absolutely confident that the productive positive relationship that the city and county have enjoyed in the short time that I’ve been here will continue and probably accelerate under the leadership of a long-term Chief.”

It is not known how many cases Rockport PD have turned over to Barnebey only to be rejected or not filed. Fletcher says he’s personally delivered cases and has no reason to believe they are not being pursued.

“I’ve been taking cases over and delivering them over to the county district attorney for a couple of months, and, to my knowledge, none of those have been returned to me, unaccepted.”