I don’t profess to have a magic plan that goes to the overhauling of the Sheriff’s department. My many years of law enforcement experience, education, legal training, and training at the FBI National Academy and at the Traffic Institute all would demand that I gather and analyze the facts, employee skills, and the resources before developing a comprehensive plan. This will be a joint effort with county leadership, departmental employees and the public.
Developing ways the community can support and be a part of the law enforcement mission of the Sheriff's office would promote the overall wellbeing of the citizens of Bastrop County. The common and somewhat obvious way is through the efforts of community based police programs, commonly referred to as community policing. Community policing has a broad forum and encompasses many community oriented programs, simply being connected to the community would drive how the efforts of community policing would be directed. Having represented ombudsmen could be one source to insure community representation and involvement. Treating the public fairly with equal representation would go a long way toward the efforts of community policing. Treating the public respectfully and courteously would be a requirement of my administration.
Properly training Sheriff's Department personnel, both commissioned peace officers and other staff, is of the highest priority. Proper training, not just training for the sake of training is an issue. The number of training hours a person has in their training file is important but not nearly as important as what did the training module accomplish. Initial threshold police training is an important start to a person's decision making process but follow up specialized training is essential. Training drives the decision making process and Sheriff's Department personnel are constantly faced with decisions and some of the decisions could alter a person's life forever. The public deserves to have decisions made by a properly trained and informed deputy especially when a decision could mean the difference to use deadly force or not to use deadly force.
BUDGET MANAGEMENT TO PROMOTE PUBLIC SAFETY
The Sheriff has to be more than just a good police officer, being able to have the necessary management skills to identify the needs and expenditure priorities of the Sheriff's Department is essential since the Sheriff's Office makes up nearly half of the counties budget. The public has a right to expect that those funds are being used in the most effective and efficient manner to promote their safety and peace of mind; knowing that the Sheriff's Department will be there in the time of their need. Working with the various units of government to promote a spirit of cooperation will make an effective use of the limited resources that most county agencies experience. Making sound well thought out decisions based on experience and education will serve the tax papers of Bastrop County in a professional manner and will go a long ways to make them proud of their Bastrop County Sheriff's Department.