By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford was named to the Burke Board of Trustees as an ex-officio, or non-voting, member.
The Burke network services the 12-county deep East Texas region, serviced by the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) and provides mental health services. Weatherford, along with another law enforcement leader, Sheriff Jason Bridges of Nacogdoches County, were named to the board, with appointments resulting from Senate Bill 632 of the 86th Texas Legislature.
The bill promotes cooperation between local mental health authorities and law enforcement by appointing sheriffs or sheriffs’ representatives, to their local governing boards as non-voting members.
“I am honored to have been elected to serve as a Burke Center Trustee,” said Weatherford. “This position will allow me the opportunity to represent not only Tyler County, but all 12 counties in the DETCOG region.”
According to a news release from the Burke organization, Weatherford was appointed to represent the smaller counties of the region and Bridges will represent the larger ones.
“I want to make sure the citizens of Tyler County and East Texas continue to receive the necessary mental health care treatment,” said Weatherford.
The Burke network was established in 1974 as the Deep East Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services, as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, which is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees.
The network has grown from a small organization, which offered limited services, into a major behavioral health provider, which serves more than 5,000 people annually, through a variety of services, according to its website.