December 12, 2012
GALVESTON, Texas - In the recent general election the race for county sheriff pitted two deputies against each other, both high ranking veteran deputies.
One was a major who was born a Democrat then reborn a Republican. The other, a captain, was born a democrat and remained true to his birthright. 2012 was the second time the Republicans swept the elections over what for over 100 years had been a democratically controlled county.
The born again major won, even though the incumbent Sheriff, a popular, lifelong lawman in the county, endorsed the true, blue democratic captain.
As sure as the sky is blue, as soon as the votes were counted, those on the loosing side (the captain and those who openly supported him) started looking for other jobs, some probably before the votes were counted. And as sure as the sky is blue, the new high-sheriff let it be known who among the ranks would remain among the ranks and who would be dumped back to the bottom of the pile.
It is no secret in the department that the devoted democratic challenger and his followers will not be welcome among the disciples of the born-again Republican and his band of deputies. The un-elected captain's best buddy, another captain, will wake up a patrol deputy one morning after the swearing-in ceremony.
A lieutenant, chummy with the newly ordained, will replaced the defrocked captain. Others will jump ship in search of paychecks in other, not so political, cop shops, if there are those. A lady member of the command staff is said to be taking over a retiring major's job in the crossbar hotel.
And, as happens when two old warhorses do battle with each other, the loser will gallop off to a far and distant land where he may still pack his pistol and wear the badge, maybe even patrolling the hallways of a high school somewhere.
This sort of thing is not unique to Galveston County, although Galveston County does have it's own brand of politics, and it's merciless.
It makes the case for civil service for law enforcement officers whether municipal or county. Sheriff's deputies, because they work for a politician, are seldom afforded the job protection of civil service. Politicians enjoy the 'strong arm' method of ruling, rather than leading and inspiring.
I have always believed Sheriffs, Constables and judges should be elected on a non-partisan basis. No Democrats or Republicans or green or tea, just good people who can prove to voters they know what the hell they're doing and can get the job done.
That's the way I see it. How about you?