Former Constable David Hill of Montgomery County Precinct 5 announced his retirement in September, suggesting to county officials that Chris Jones, chief deputy at the time, be appointed to finish his term. Jones was appointed by Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Sept. 25 to finish Hill’s term.
Jones has been in law enforcement for 22 years, all of which were by Hill’s side, Jones said.
“I’ve learned a lot from him, and I know I’ve got huge shoes to fill, but his confidence in me as a recommendation to take his place lets me know that he believes in me, too,” Jones said.
Jones’s term will expire in 2020.
Within Precinct 5, Jones moved up the ranks from reserve deputy in 1996 to lieutenant, captain and then chief deputy under Hill. Jones said his leadership philosophy is to never ask his employees to do anything he has not
What got you into law enforcement?
I’ve always just wanted to be [in]law enforcement. I graduated from Magnolia High School back in 1991. Then I went to Sam Houston State University, and my first major was finance. They have one of the top criminal justice programs in the country, so I decided to take some criminal justice classes and just kind of grew [interest]from there. I ended up switching my major to criminal justice and graduated there in 1996.
I’ve known Constable Hill since he was a trooper out here [in Magnolia]because I grew up out here. He gave me an opportunity [to work]as a reserve deputy in 1996 after I attended Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Police Academy, and I started my career.
What is Precinct 5’s relationship with Magnolia ISD?
We’ve had a relationship [with Magnolia ISD]for about 20 years. We put the first deputy as a school resource officer in the late 1990s, and the administrators liked the way he worked. Over the last 20 years we now have
18 school resource officers [added]across the campuses.
We’ve got to focus on our main goal, which is the safety and security of everybody on those campuses—not just the students but the teachers, principals, staff and any visitors.
We’ve got a great community and great schools out here. We look forward to making them both better and better.
How do you feel about filling Hill’s shoes?
[Hill’s retirement] was bittersweet for the whole community. He’s been here 50 years. Basically, since the first part of 1969 up until I was sworn in, he was pretty much [the]law enforcement around here.
We’re all going to miss him, but after 50 years in law enforcement he deserves to be able to spend some time with his family.
He’s been a mentor of mine since day one, and I believe he’s taught me well. One of the things that I told my guys when I took over is that we’re going to treat people right. We’re going to continue to do the same thing that Constable Hill has always done and always taught us.
What is one challenge in the area and how do you plan to address it?
I get a lot of questions asking if the drug problem is really that bad in Magnolia now. My answer is no. The reason people are just now hearing about it is because we are proactively going after this issue and arresting people with our proactive patrol and investigator division.
About three years ago, we weren’t working on this problem as much and it was nobody’s fault. We just didn’t have the manpower or resources to actually go after it. We’re working with Magnolia Police Department, Stagecoach Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to eradicate the issue.
What are your goals as constable?
When I became chief deputy approximately two and a half years ago, I saw a need to be a little bit more proactive on some of our patrols. We’ve been able to do that on a steady basis without affecting our main job, which is civil [cases]. I’ve seen a lot of success in it, and the commissioners have seen that too.
We also want to grow our patrol where we are 24 hours per day, seven days per week. About two years ago, we changed from five days to seven days per week, but we’re not quite at 24 hours per day. That’s one of our main goals is to have someone available all day, every day.
One of our [other]main [goals]for Precinct 5 is community service. [We want to] provide law enforcement services to the community and be a voice of reason. We can take people to jail all day long, but that doesn’t mean we have to treat them bad.