Q & A with Erath County Sheriff Candidate Bobby Harpole

Bobby Harpole

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.


Name: Bobby Harpole

Tell us a little about your family: I have been asked to tell about myself and my family.  I was born in Denton, Texas and grew up a “military brat” living in numerous states and Europe. I have bee married to my wife, Pam, for over 51 years.  We have three sons that were raised in Erath County and a “bonus daughter” that came into our lives when she was a student at Tarleton State University.  We have been blessed with 8 grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 24.

Where are you from originally and how long have you been in Erath County: I started my law enforcement career in 1968 with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS), living in Amarillo, Childress, Amarillo, Floresville and Stephenville.  I retired from the TDPS as Sergeant in Highway Patrol.  I then went to work for the Erath County Sheriff’s Office and after 12 years of service retired as Captain.

Where have you served? (i.e. past or current military, other LEO or volunteer positions) AND Highest level of education and what certifications do you currently hold that will aid you in your potential office: 
I attended The University of North Texas; hold a Master’s Peace Officers certification (1994).  I am a graduate of the esteemed Blackwood Institute of Law Enforcement Management with my thesis being “Mandatory Physical Fitness for Police Officers.” I have over 5,000 hours of different aspects of law enforcement with TCOLE.  To mention a few, I have intense training in emergency management, crises intervention, active shooter response, cultural diversity and crises training/peer support.  I have received training in Atlanta, Georgia and Washington, D.C.

I feel that I can be set above the other sheriff’s candidates because of actual EXPERIENCE, actual implantation of my training.  From active shooter to peer group counseling, I have been there… a participant.  From prison riots, KKK rallies to guarding United States Presidents, I have been there.  Talking and listening to Erath County Sheriff’s Office Deputies after involvement in critical situations… I have been there.  I feel that my training and experience is not limited within the sheriff’s office but also equally helpful in addressing the needs of Erath County citizens.

What do you believe is the most important role of your potential office? And why are you the best person to take on that role? 

In my opinion, one of the most important roles as sheriff, is not to only enforce all laws but to listen and protect the citizens and their property. I want to make certain that all deputies recognize their roles is the same as their sheriff.

In my administration, the Erath County Deputies will know their job is to serve and protect under any and all conditions.

What do you believe will be the hardest part of this job? How will you, if elected, face that problem and handle it moving forward? 

With the recent school shooting in Florida in mind, I know how important it is to work with the Stephenville, Tarleton and Dublin Police Departments and school districts to formulate a plan to better facilitate an active shooter situation.

What else would you like your voters to know about you before the election?

As sheriff, I must and will always be vigilant to the fact that I work FOR the citizens of Erath County.  I am the chief law enforcement officer and they are the individuals that elected me into office.  The citizens should be able to look at their sheriff as a source of protection and know that their sheriff is expected to conduct himself with honor and decency.  I have the training and hands-on experience, but I also realize that a peace officer never knows it all.  With constant court decisions and new and better training procedures, there is always room for improvement.

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