Republican candidate for County Judge Bill Gravell took a break from the campaign for a ride-out with Sheriff Robert Chody to gain a better understanding—from the ground—of what law enforcement officers do and need on a day-to-day basis.
“I want our deputies and Law Enforcement personnel to know there’s a county judge who cares; who listens. The best way to listen is to get in the field. Today we are visiting the Sheriff’s Department, but it is my plan, and I’m looking forward to eventually spending time with fleet maintenance, the parks department, and the rest of our county employees.”
Sheriff Chody agrees that this kind of leadership dynamic has great value; “We want the new County Judge to know and have an understanding of the basic, fundamental challenges in our department. Having the Judge on a ride-out will provide first-hand information about our needs, so when requests are made, he will have a basic understanding of why we want it. It will be a benefit to have leadership who can make informed decisions from a realistic perspective.”
Judge Gravell says, “It is important that we don’t just talk about how committed we are to their success. They need to see that, like the Good Samaritan, leadership is willing to get down off the horse and work with the people who need help. I want everyone to know I am and will be involved.”
Gravell says, if elected, he plans to schedule a half-day each week to spend time somewhere in the county and work with those employees. “I want to know and understand what the people in Fleet Maintenance do so I can assimilate their needs with the resources available.”
For their part, the Sheriff’s Department was pleased to discuss programs and resources with Judge Gravell. While the K9 unit has a pretty large following on the Internet, thanks in large part to Nemo and Bolo’s Twitter feeds, the department works on an annual budget of $2000. Judge Gravell commented, “Why is that dog, who helps seize thousands of dollars worth of drugs, not worth as much as a bullet-proof vest? He works for the citizens and has an impact on our community too.”
Fortunately, the K9’s newest recruit was rescued from the Williamson County Animal Shelter due to the instincts they recognized in his play. Sheriff Chody says adopting him saved the County about $12,000 for the cost of a fully trained dog. “We have several dogs who started at the same time, so they will likely retire at the same time and we need to maintain our effectiveness.”
Judge Gravell added, “I believe it is pretentious and arrogant to sit in a leadership position and not be involved with the employees you are making decisions for. Decisions are important because those decisions impact personal lives and if we shortchange our employees, we are not providing the resources to provide for and protect all of our citizens.”
The Sheriff’s Department invites anyone over 18 to participate in a ride-out, pending a background check. Contact the Community Outreach Office to schedule and find out everything you didn’t know about the work they do. Did you know WCSO even has cowboys on the payroll?