November 2020 election: Galveston County sheriff candidate Q&A



GALVESTON COUNTY



Sheriff




*Incumbent






Henry Trochesset*



R



Occupation: Sheriff


Experience: Sheriff for past 7 years, 36+ years of continuing service with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office, Supervision of 500+ employees of the Sheriff’s Office, Budget Oversight for $53.8 million for the Sheriff’s Office, Master Peace Officer Certification, Master Jailer Certification, Instructors Certification, Graduate FBI National Academy, Graduate Law Enforcement Command College






What is the top issue you would address if elected?



HT: With the current climate faced by law enforcement, if re-elected as your Sheriff, my focus would be your safety and the safety of your family. To accomplish this, we will continue working to recruit and retain qualified personnel (Dispatchers, Jailers, Peace Officers). I am already seeing deputies choosing to retire or leaving their law enforcement career. I anticipate this trend to continue, leaving shortages of qualified law enforcement officers over the next decade. Many who would otherwise choose to work in law enforcement are now reconsidering such an occupation.



Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?



HT: See Experience above.



If elected, what will you do to ensure your officers and those they come in contact with are protected from COVID-19?



HT: Currently, as your Sheriff, I have ensured each officer working for the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office is provided COVID-19 protective gear. In addition, screening protocols are in place to check all individuals (employees and inmates) prior to entering the Galveston County jail.



If elected, what will you do to ensure police brutality is not an issue in the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department?



HT: I will continue to monitor policy and procedures my office currently follows. When an arrest or any situations warrants a use of force, a report is generated. The report will document the level of force needed or us used in that situation. The report must be reviewed and signed off on three different levels of supervision. Any concerns or indication a use of force was excessive, then it is reported to the Office of Professional Standards to be investigated. The findings could result in disciplinary action by my office or criminal charges being filed through our district attorney’s office.



If elected, what will you do to establish/maintain trust between law enforcement and Galveston County residents?



HT: As an employee of the sheriff’s office for the past 37 years, over 7 years as your sheriff, I have always been available to the public. I will continue to be transparent and have an open dialog with our community. I believe that continuous officer training and community service is paramount. Our Citizens Sheriff Academy is a true testament of fully understanding the day to day operation of the Sheriff’s Office and challenges we face as law enforcement.









Mark Salinas



D



Occupation: Investigator for a law enforcement agency


Experience: I have 20 years of law enforcement experience as a 21st century law enforcement officer. I have been on the frontlines of law enforcement to see first hand the public's needs in our growing community.






What is the top issue you would address if elected?



MS: Implementation of Proactive Community Oriented Policing: We need to bridge the gap between our law enforcement officers, our citizens, and most importantly our youth. We need to instill trust in our community, and deter our youth from going down the path of crime and incarceration. Our county has grown almost 100,000 people in population and our services have been the same for practically the last 20 years.



Why are you the most qualified candidate for this position?



MS: I have 20 years of law enforcement experience, a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Houston Downtown, a Master Peace Officer License, an Instructor's License, a Mental Health Peace Officer Certification, and a School-Based Law Enforcement Proficiency Certificate. Most importantly as a 21st Century Officer I live in this community and I have the passion and the desire to change the perception of law enforcement in Galveston County.



If elected, what will you do to ensure your officers and those they come in contact with are protected from COVID-19?



MS: We will follow the recommendations of the Galveston County Health District and the CDC. Our goal will be to meet and exceed the recommendations set forth. Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) will be provided to staff and inmates in our custody. In the jail we will install sanitation stations and closely monitor the population for any symptoms. I will make room in the budget to accommodate these needs. Also we will compare procedures from other agencies to see what is working and what is not working.



If elected, what will you do to ensure police brutality is not an issue in the Galveston County Sheriff’s Department?



MS: I will pursue adequate funding to implement a Body-Worn Camera program for the agency which will establish transparency. Deputies, command staff and including myself will be held accountable for their actions. I will implement Implicit Bias, Mental Health, and De-escalation training across the agency. Under my command brutality will hold no place at the Galveston County Sheriff's Office and will be seeked out and removed from the agency.



If elected, what will you do to establish/maintain trust between law enforcement and Galveston County residents?



MS: I will host town hall meetings to gather the needs of the public in the community we serve. Also I will explore the implementation of a Citizens Review Board composed of community leaders to give the citizens a voice in our county law enforcement.


By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

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