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Nueces County Sheriff: Candidate Forum & Voters Guide

This information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 3News has partnered with the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education, to help make sure the community has access to all the information they need before hitting the polls Nov. 3.

The following information was gathered and compiled by the League and published in their Voters Guide and on Vote411.org.

County Sheriff

  • Serves as a licensed peace officer and is responsible for enforcing the criminal laws of the state.
  • Manages and operates the county jail.
  • Provides security for the courts.
  • Serves warrants and civil papers.
  • Regulates bail bondsmen in counties with no bail bond board.

JC Hooper (Republican)

Campaign Email http://jch@electsheriffhooper.com
Campaign Phone Number (361) 462-6722
Website http://electsheriffhooper.com
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ElectSheriffHooper
Twitter 
@ElectHooper

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office. 

My strongest competency is mature and disciplined leadership that continues to be forged through a lifetime, 39 years, of public service in law enforcement. My faith, family, and commitment to my vocation of public service are the most important guiding principles in may life. I am a lifetime resident of Nueces County and I have been blessed to be a lifetime public servant in this region. I have established and maintain excellent working relationships with regional criminal justice leaders.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by the residents of Nueces County? What is your response to this concern?

The current state of Law and Order and in our communities is the number one concern that I am hearing from residents of Nueces County. A coarsening of our social interactions and mob violence in other parts of the country are troublesome and should never be allowed to happen here. I will continue to uphold the rule of law and the due process protections that are found in our constitution. I will continue to lead with total respect for the rights of all citizens while ensuring public order.

COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for Nueces County, the safety and general well-being of its residents, including those who work or are incarcerated in jail?

Working with our Medical Service Provider inside the jail, we embarked on a plan of preparing, preventing, and managing this infectious disease and the inevitable impact on some of our inmates and employees. Our infectious disease protocol is based on guidance and direction from the CDC specifically for critical infrastructure and correctional institution facilities. State and Federal networking with other similar facilities during this period of time was not only beneficial but critical.

COVID-19: Based on COVID-19 pandemic conditions to-date, the Sheriff’s office has worked effectively with other law enforcement agencies in maintaining civic order.

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer.

My relationship with regional law enforcement partners, local, state, and federal was and continues to be a cornerstone of my management philosophy. This is especially critical in periods emergency situations such as the pandemic or a hurricane. Communicaiton and collaboration is not only vital for public safety during times like this but also the fiscally prudent concept giving the fact that all law enforcement agencies from all jurisdictions work for the same taxpayer.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

1. Continue what I have started with aggressive and multifaceted recruiting efforts. This agency has been understaffed for decades and it will only be through innovative recruiting, training, and retention of qualified applicants that we will best serve our county. 2. Continue with the technical advancements in the jail on on patrol to better equip our dedicated staff. 3. Maintain the upward trajectory of benefits and pay for Nueces County Law Enforcement. The goal is partity in the region.

David Torres (Democrat)

Campaign Email http://info@davidtorresforsheriff.com
Campaign Phone Number (361) 726-6833
Website http://davidtorresforsheriff.com/contact/
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DavidTorresForSheriff/
Twitter 
@VoteDavidTorres

BACKGROUND: Describe your strongest competency and life experience that qualify you to hold this office.

32 yrs with CCPD, I became a Captain & Commander. My duties included discipline, performance and budgets. I attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, the premier leadership command school in the world. I worked in every major division at CCPD, obtaining crucial insights as to how Departments work together. During this period, I was in charge of hurricanes, tornadoes, refinery explosion response and major crime events. I believe that these skill sets translate well into the Sheriff’s Office.

ISSUES: During your campaign, what is the number one concern expressed to you by the residents of Nueces County? What is your response to this concern?

There is a lack of patrol in rural areas due to staffing shortage. I would have an active recruiting team, w/ professional marketing. The best recruiting tool of any organization is the employees. Currently, morale is extremely low. This adds to the poor recruitment and retention of officers. We need to streamline the application process for the Department with a separate website to be included on the back of all our Sheriff cars, and recruitment in all major events.

COVID-19: The COVID-19 pandemic has created a feeling of uncertainty. What are your views of the future for Nueces County, the safety and general well-being of its residents, including those who work or are incarcerated in jail?

The pandemic will still be here in January. All employees, and their direct households, must be tested. The correctional officers, because of their close proximity to inmates and shared ventilation system, should be tested every two weeks. We should separate and quarantine “positive” individuals, and do contact tracing. All personal protection equipment must be given the proper protection equipment. I believe correctional facilities must be scheduled and cleaned several times a week.

COVID-19: Based on COVID-19 pandemic conditions to-date, the Sheriff’s office has worked effectively with other law enforcement agencies in maintaining civic order.

Strongly disagree
Disagree
Neither agree nor disagree
Agree
Strongly agree

Please explain your answer.

For the last two months, the Sheriff’s Department has moved their patrol officers from the field into the jail. Thus, rural residents and other agencies that receive assistance from the Sheriff’s Department have been left unprotected and on their own. This is because the Sheriff did not initially follow CDC guidelines. In fact, the Sheriff during a televised meeting, told the Commissioners he thought he could not force the officers to take a COVID test. That is totally incorrect.

PRIORITIES: Other than the issues previously addressed, what are your top three priorities, and, if elected, how would you address them?

1st, reengaging with the community. I will create an Ad Hoc citizen’s advisory group of 3 Democrats & 3 Republicans to prioritize changes in the Dept through community policing. 2nd, an active training section changing the culture of the Department. 3rd, to initiate the first Nueces County Law Enforcement Summit, a meeting of all head constables and Chiefs of police in Nueces County to include: Chiefs from the Port, all ISD’s and both colleges.

The above information was gathered and compiled by the League of Women Voters, a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to voter education.

3News has partnered with the League in order to help make sure our community has access to all the information they need before they hit the polls. You can find more of this information at Vote411.org.

Back to the Voters Guide.