local government candidate questions ?
Our local sheriff in panola county texas isn't seeking re-election,this will bring candidates from 3 parties vying for his position to expire in 1.5 yrs .I feel that the best questions to ask any candidate seeking a sheriff's or chief of police job would be .....If the federal government passed a law declaring personal firearms illegal ,and called for confiscation. Would you or could you do this ? Would you or could you allocate the use deadly force ? Or would you quit the position? These questions would also serve the same purpose to local judges .
I would rephrase the question so the federal government is not involved, but the county administrators are.
"If the County declared all firearms illegal, would...."
That would, IMO, give a better (and possibly, a more realistic) scenario to get true feelings of the future sheriff. Does he/she care more for rights or a paycheck?
Police Chiefs are generally not elected in Texas. Sheriffs are. Chiefs are appointed by City Managers and approved by City Councils.
Aside from the expected 2nd Amendment questions you will get here, inquire about the candidate's plan to improve the professionalism of the agency (education, pay, accountability, etc.). Some East Texas Sheriff's Offices are over run with good ol' boys with little formal education and not much money to recruit anyone better/smarter. Some Sheriffs will make wholesale changes in personnel upon taking office, installing their own good ol' boys in place of the former Sheriff's good ol' boys. Rarely does that amount to an improvement.
Many smaller agencies do not have an internal affairs division or even an internal affairs person. The Sheriff handles each complaint on his own. I am unable to find much on the Sheriff's Office. It appears they operate a 161 bed jail. The Sheriff has been in office since 1988. That is a long tenure by "large" county standards, but normal for smaller counties.
I would find out more about the organization, # of Deputies, # of jailers, # of civilian staff. The only person to die in the line of duty appears to be the Sheriff (in 1976) and that was an accident. It does not appear to be a particurly dangerous place to work.
What are the crime issues? Burglary? Meth labs? Weed production? Drunks?
Become informed as to the nature of the problems and the questions will pop out at you.
What is your take on CCW permits?
How do you feel about Legalizing MJ?
What do you want to improve once you take office?
How would you go about making that improvement?
What is your education level?
Here in CA the Sheriff is the highest law enforcement authority in the county and holds authority over city cops. The Sheriff can set their own agenda regarding CCW, confiscation, etc.
Again, here in CA, the local County Sheriff has made our county a "non-issue" county. In Sacramento County the new Sheriff has been issuing CCW permits pretty liberally. In Northern CA they are pretty much Shall-Issue.
Good luck getting a permit here in Santa Clara County though unless you are willing to pony up a $25,000 "donation" to the local Sheriff's favorite charity.
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