ERATH COUNTY (March 5, 2018)– This article is part of a series on Erath County sheriff candidates. All interviewees were asked the same questions, and the interviews will be presented in Q and A format.
Tell us a little about your family: My wife of 35 years, Susan, and I have resided in Erath County for 27 years. Susan retired from the Business Services Office at Tarleton in May of 2017. She is currently employed part-time with Tarleton’s Athletic Department and personally assisting the elderly. We raised one daughter, Jenna, here in Stephenville. She now resides in the Plano area with her husband, Mike, who is a Firefighter for Plano Fire and Rescue. They recently blessed us with our first grandbaby. In my free time, I enjoy hunting, fishing, and riding my Harley Davidson. I enjoy my involvement in the community, maintaining my law enforcement education and skills, and serving the public.
Where are you from originally: I grew up in Maryneal Texas (West Texas)
How long have you been in Erath County: 27 years
Highest level of education and what certifications do you currently hold that will aid you in your potential office:
- Bachelors of Applied Arts and Sciences in Criminal Justice
- 21 Law Enforcement Certifications, including Master Peace Officer, Firearms Instructor Proficiency, Police Instructor, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Tactics Advanced Instructor, and Defensive Tactics Instructor
- 3,373 hours in Texas Commission Of Law Enforcement continuing education
- Graduate of the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute Leadership Command College
- Police Academy Salutatorian
Where have you served? (i.e. past or current military, other LEO or volunteer positions)
I enlisted in the Marines in 1978 I was discharged for medical issue with my knee in 1979
I went to Iraq as a civilian contractor for Department of State as a bomb Dog Handler in 2005
- Stephenville Masonic Lodge #267
- Lone Star Youth Outdoors for Foster Children and Orphans
- Leadership Stephenville
- Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Association
- Member of Valley Grove Baptist Church
What do you believe is the most important role of your potential office? Being the Chief Law Enforcement officer of the county requires the utmost in integrity and transparency
And why are you the best person to take on that role?
My history in this community and with the people in it. You will not find the issues that some of the candidates have in their past in mine. I am not a perfect man but I am the most consistent with what the ideal Sheriff should be.
What do you believe will be the hardest part of this job? First and foremost, will be regaining the trust of the community and re-establishing the credibility as a top-level law enforcement agency and jail.
How will you, if elected, face that problem and handle it moving forward Repairing, the poor perception of law enforcement in general by the public requires holding ourselves accountable to a higher standard, increasing the level of service provided, and improving transparency in policy and procedures. Allowing the public to know what we are doing and why we do things that way.
What else would you like your voters to know about you before the election?
I will promote a professional and service-based department. I want to reestablish the morale and morality of the department, and work together to build a professional team environment. There has been long-term neglect of communications. Our radio system needs updating; there are areas in the county that are black holes both for the deputies and fire personnel. A centralized dispatch partnered with the Fire Departments, and other local Law Enforcement Agencies could be a way to share the expense. I would work within the current budget, but realign officers to increase patrol functions. I will add myself into patrol and investigations to increase manpower. I will listen to the needs of my deputies and the concerns of the citizens of the county, and evaluate where the current funds should be allocated. Law enforcement is a partnership with the community it serves. I want to be your partner in making Erath County a better place to live and raise our families.