The Gonzales Inquirer sent out questionnaires to the candidates in contested races for Gonzales City Council Districts 3 and 4, and for Gonzales County Sheriff. The candidates’ responses appear below as each was received and none were edited by The Inquirer. Photos were provided by the respective candidates.
Here are the responses from Dan Blakemore and Rob Brown Gonzales City Council District 4:
• Age: 66
• Political Party: Democrat
• City of Residence: Gonzales
• How many years have you lived in Gonzales County? 30 years
• What is your current profession? Gonzales County Reserve Deputy Constable PCT# 4
• Do you have law enforcement experience (please list)?: 26 years 3 months Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office, 4 months Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office, 2 years 3 months as Nixon Police Chief and present as a Reserve Deputy Constable Gonzales County PCT#4.
• Please list any college degrees, certifications, specialized training, etc.: Graduated from the University of Houston Down Town Criminal Justice Center Police Academy, Master Peace Officer Certificate, Bill Blackwood LEMIT of Texas New Chief’s Certificate, Court Security Specialist Certificate, Advanced K9 Handler Drug Interdiction Certificate and a total of 2005 Hours of TCOLE specialized training.
• Why are you running for this office?: I have been made aware of some of the citizens’ complaints and concerns about the Sheriff’s Office. I will take action to confront all complaints and work to correct them. I will make the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office a pro-active department to gain the trust of the citizens of Gonzales County.
• In your opinion, what is the most important function of the County Sheriff position?: To protect and serve the citizens of Gonzales County. To act on the concerns and complaints of the citizens of Gonzales County and bring a resolution to all complaints, Criminal, Civil, and Department Personnel. To keep the trust of the Citizens of Gonzales County.
• In your opinion, what is the most important issue in this race?: The lack of leadership, transparency and trust in the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office. To gain the confidence of the Gonzales County citizens that the Sheriff’s Office can perform their duties to protect and serve our community.
• What are your plans for the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office?: My goal for the Gonzales Sheriff’s Office is to place the right personnel in positions of leadership. This is to ensure that every deputy from the Chief Deputy, Investigators, Patrol Sergeant and Patrol Deputy will have oversight and leadership to do the task they are assigned. With oversight and leadership every Deputy will be responsible to complete their duties to the citizens of Gonzales County. I want to work on drug trafficking and drug use in Gonzales County, this has the greatest impact on most crimes including Violent crime, Family violence, Child Abuse, Thefts and Burglaries. My office will be open to hear all complaints and concerns of the Citizens of Gonzales County.
• Why are you the candidate best suited for this office?: In my 26 years with the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office I have worked as a Sergeant Resident Deputy, Sergeant Investigator, Patrol Sergeant and Drug Interdiction K-9 Sergeant. As the Nixon Police Chief for over 2 years I controlled the everyday operations of the Nixon Police Department including Budget, Scheduling and Misdemeanor and Felony Criminal Investigations. I maintained all State and Federal Agency regulations and requirements to operate the Nixon Police Department. As a Master Peace Officer, I would like to put my Experience as a Supervisor, Investigator and Administrator to work for you the citizens of Gonzales County as your next Sheriff.
• In your opinion, how does the national debate on law enforcement funding, training and tactics affect the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office?: The National Law Enforcement debates affects every department in every State. Law Enforcement cannot operate without the proper funding it is a danger to all citizens and to the officers who patrol the streets. We all have a Constitutional right to be safe in our everyday life. The State of Texas will add or change laws and mandate new training and tactics for every department in the State. As a Law Enforcement agency, we will abide by all State laws.
• Age: 62
• Political Party: Republican
• City of Residence: Gonzales Texas
• How many years have you lived in Gonzales County: 35 years
• What is your current profession: I am retired from the Dept of Public Safety after 35 years of service. I currently hold a reserve police officer certification from the La Salle County Sheriff’s office.
• Do you have law enforcement experience?: I have worked as a deputy and a chief deputy sheriff in LaSalle County for a total of 4 years and for the Dept of Public Safety as a trooper for 35 years .I have also worked with many departments of law enforcement such as the City, County, State,DEA, and the FBI. I have a total of 39 years in law enforcement.
• Please list any college degrees and specialized training: I graduated from DPS school in 1984. I have a Master Peace Officer license, numerous certifications such as Cultural Diversity, CSU Vulnerability assessment training, Patrol and Tactical training , Terrorism Interdiction and Survivability specialized training. Active Shooter School, Combine Asset Forfeiture and Racial Profiling, Special Investigative Topics. DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Identity Theft.
• Why are you running for this office: I truly believe that my purpose in life was to be a lawman . In my 35 years of working for DPS I have enjoyed serving and protecting the citizens of this State and Gonzales County. I feel my work is not done yet and would like to continue my service to the citizens of Gonzales County as Sheriff!
• In Your opinion what is the most important function of the County Sheriff position: The Sheriff’s duty is to keep the peace and enforce the laws while securing the county citizens of their lives, property and possessions.
• In your opinion,what is the most important issue in this race? Trust is the most important issue Trust in law enforcement to enforce our constitution to be just and fair to all. Also trust in the candidate to do what he promises to do and never forget he works for the people.
• What are your plans for the Gonzales Sheriff’s office? If I am elected my plans are to have training for all in the sheriff’s dept. I plan on making the officers proactive and to stratigize
locations of patrol deputies so that our response times are faster on the 911 emergency phone calls. I will remove the robo calls in the dispatcher office so that all who call will talk to a real person and not a machine. There will be an officer trained to ensure the commercial motor vehicles are in compliance with the rules and regulations and not speeding or driving recklessly on roads in Gonzales County. We will not tolerate any lawlessness, combat the drugs and ensure our citizens and their properties are safe. We will work together with our partners in the City, County, State and Federal level to achieve this goal! I will support our local organizations, uphold the 2nd amendment and comply with child custody cases. I will host various community events and execute crime prevention. I will work with our Commissioners to be fiscally conservative with the respect that it is our taxpayers money. As Sheriff I will be transparent and listen to the concerns of the citizens of Gonzales County.
• Why are you the candidate best suited for this office?: I have worked a total of 39 years in law enforcement. In 35 of those years I have been trained in many aspects of law enforcement . I have been to the border to combat drugs, riots in Austin with groups like Antifa, and the KKK, assisted in Hurricane Katrina , worked in San Antonio to help with the street gangs and crime. I also worked for four years alongside a Sheriff as a deputy. I have always worked in the front line and this has extended my experience with law enforcement. Experience, training, and passion for law enforcement makes me the best candidate.
• In your opinion, how does the national debate on law enforcement funding, training and tactics affect the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office?: I do believe that it will affect the Gonzales County Sheriff’s Office. There is going to be new legislation on police arrest and tactics which is going to change the way some arrest tactics will be made. Our training will also change in order to comply with the new laws. In the funding I don’t believe defunding the police is the answer. I believe there must be law and order but also accountability. In order to regain trust in our law enforcement we must work professionally with respect and fairness to all.