As Sheriff I will go out, along with all my staff to talk and encourage citizens to talk. But, more importantly, we will listen and act. The next Sheriff must do more than reiterate that we have a problem, we know we have a problem.
Nationally and in Travis County, law enforcement faces a huge challenge to strengthen and establish trust and cooperation with our communities. The vast majority of people, both law enforcement and the general public, want the same thing: law enforcement that is just, fair and effective.
One of the reasons I ran for Constable in 2012 was because the Constable’s Precinct Three Office had lost the trust of local law enforcement in that area and the community. Incidents of officers sleeping during their shift and the tasing of a 72 year old woman was not what Travis County needed. Under my leadership, my office has rebuilt community trust and has championed community policing. Indeed, my office has been recognized by the Austin Police Department, Sunset Valley Police Department, and Bee Caves Police Department for its outstanding service and partnership. I believe in community policing and will continue my advocacy for community policing in the Sheriff’s Office.
Nothing can replace good community policing. Through community policing, law enforcement is able to see first hand what the community needs and how to properly address those needs. In Precinct Three we rebuilt community trust by going out into our community, serving, and “bridging the gap.” Our motto in Precinct Three is “bridging the gap.” It is on every patch, every heart, and every mind of every member of Precinct Three because we have a commitment to our communities and Travis County. I have a proven track record of strengthening and rebuilding community trust through service and accountability.
As Sheriff, just as Constable, I will be a champion of community policing and will rebuild trust with communities of color by listening, engaging community leaders, and taking action.