Travis County Sheriff • Democratic Candidates Q&A

Sally Hernandez Sally Hernandez[/caption]

Sally Hernandez

Experience: successfully led two county law-enforcement agencies; chief of investigations for district attorney’s office; current elected Precinct 3 constable; has education, training

Why are you running for county sheriff?

I am the only person in this race who has been elected to office, said I am going to do something  and get it done. Right now is not the time for on-the -job training. As a current chief executive of a law enforcement agency, I will be able to hit the ground running on day one.

Why should people vote for you?

I have 34 years of law enforcement that includes not only enforcement but criminal investigation, working with victims of crime, proven leadership, building strong partnerships with our community and other law enforcement agencies and Commissioners Court. I am the only candidate with a proven track record that has been held accountable to the voters.

Todd Radford Todd Radford[/caption]

Todd Radford

Experience: 27-year law-enforcement career, bachelor and master of science degrees in executive and strategic leadership, 14-year teacher of police best practices

Why are you running for county sheriff?

I grew up in Travis County and love this community, and we need a sheriff who’s ready to hit the ground running on day one. My executive experience and record of successful reforms, from implementing a body camera program to improved mental health training, proves I’m ready to be sheriff.

Why should people vote for you?

This is a critical time for the right leadership in law enforcement, and there’s no time for learning on the job. I am the most experienced law-enforcement executive in this race. I have the skills to build trust with our community, the leadership record to back it up and the resolve to see the job is done right.

Don Rios Don Rios[/caption]

Don Rios

Experience: 23-year career in Travis County Sheriff’s Office, mental health certification from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, SWAT team leader, licensed to work in county jail

Why are you running for county sheriff?

I am running to increase officer accountability, make the sheriff’s office reflective of our diverse community, expand transparency and implement a fully funded body camera program. If elected, I will use my position to advocate for sincere criminal justice reform and increased mental health funding.

Why should people vote for you?

I have the experience and vision to transform public safety in Travis County and embrace new technologies that increase accountability and make our neighborhoods safer. I will establish a Sheriff’s Advisory Board to bring in everyday people and hear input on how law enforcement can better serve and protect Travis County residents.

John Sisson John Sisson[/caption]

John Sisson

Experience: joined Austin Police Department in 1978; earned 44 citizens commendations for service; Distinguished Service of Valor, current sergeant, Precinct 1 constable

Why are you running for county sheriff?

Leadership within the sheriff’s office has failed to listen. It has shut concerned citizens out, wasted our tax dollars and mismanaged our jail. The sheriff’s department ... has failed to promote highly qualified women or minorities up the ranks. And immigrants live in fear of the police. I know that we can do better.

Why should people vote for you?

The sheriff is the top cop in Travis County. We deserve a sheriff with real police experience. If we’re going to address mistrust with the police, the mental health crisis, diversify the ranks and manage the budget at the same time, we need a sheriff who’s fired officers for racial profiling, taken hundreds of mental health calls and managed a budget.

The unopposed Republican candidate running for Travis County Sheriff is Joe G. Martinez.