Smith County Sheriff Candidate Profile: Chris Green - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Smith County Sheriff Candidate Profile: Chris Green

Smith County Sheriff Candidate Chris Green. (Source: Smith County Sheriff Candidate Chris Green. (Source:

Each of the four Smith County Sheriff Candidates were given a questionnaire comprised of questions that were developed in large-part by members of our audience.

A while back, followers of the KLTV Facebook page were asked what question they'd ask the Smith County Sheriff Candidates themselves, if given the chance.

These questions, in conjunction with hot-button items developed by members of the KLTV staff, are listed below, with the candidate's responses (denoted by italics) immediately following.



1. Technology is constantly changing and advancing; what technological advances would you like to introduce to the Smith County Sheriff's Department?

One of the main issues that needs to be addressed is to see the Sheriff's Office begin to communicate technologically with area Police Departments, Constables and all Smith County agencies – today we don't. Arp Police Department communicates with another County. We can keep up with new technology using ipads and take advantage of the new Apps that are available for immediate download rather than purchasing entire new systems. Apps allow us to interface our current software with new communications technology. Additionally, ipads will allow an officer to do all the book-in paperwork at the scene of the arrest, transfer information into to the jail and streamline the book-in process.

2. What are immediate changes, say in your first 90 days in office, that you'd like to make if elected?

First, we are going to rewrite the Smith County Sheriff Office Policy and Procedures to let everyone know our goals and what the mission is for the Smith County Sheriff's Office. As I've said all along, I plan to bring in a handful of new leaders for the outside and from within the department to continue our vision of a fresh start. We will begin the process of looking at each employee and their strengths to make sure they are positioned for success. We do plan to institute a no-nepotism policy because of the morale problems that currently exist. We will begin talks with gun manufacturers to look at arming all of our officers with a uniform firearm. We will all train the same and shoot the same. I have promised that we will have an open line of communication to hear employees' suggestions to improve processes and morale. One of my first calls as Sheriff will be to the area Police Chiefs to being a regular dialog of ways to train together and pool our resources to improve efficiency and maximize tax dollars.

3. We asked people on our social media sites what they would like to ask you as a candidate for Sheriff; one of the things that came up several times was the issue of response time, especially for people who live in the far northern reaches of the county. For example, one man alleges that he called in a possible shooting and the response time was over an hour, according to him. What will be done to assure residents on the perimeter of Smith County that they will receive prompt, consistent law enforcement protection from the Sheriff's office?

Throughout this campaign, one of the main complaints we have heard is the dismal response times out in the County. By restructuring the Sheriff's Office, taking the top positions with few duties and sending more men into the field, we will not only improve response times but also reduce crime with consistent patrolling. Most nights there are three to four deputies serving the entire county – that is unacceptable. By using a mobile booking unit, we can meet officers in their service area, transfer the subjects with the assistance of reserves and leave our deputies out in the field to patrol and answer calls. This will save several hours that it takes to drive to the Smith County Jail and process the criminals into the jail. We can also utilize reserves and canines to serve as the second officer that is required by most calls. 85% of the calls we go on require two deputies – by utilizing reserves, we can let a reserve ride with a full time deputy, therefore allowing another full time deputy to remain in his quadrant. In the future we will work with the Humane Society and the SPCA to transfer animal control to their expertise and get out of the dog business. We will utilize those officers dedicated to that and place them on patrol in the field.

4. What approach will you use as Sheriff to hold your employees accountable to the policies and laws of the county and state?

First, we will have all employees read and understand our new policy and procedures and also have them sign that they have read and understand that our policy is different. We will lead by good example and educate, evaluate and occasionally terminate those who are repeat offenders that violate policies and/or state laws. Everyone will receive evaluations and due-process and there will be uniform consequences for violating state law. Consistent discipline is the key to success and maintaining morale.

5. Sheriff Smith, as you know, has served Smith County as sheriff for more than 30 years. Do you feel that is too long to serve? If so, how long should you, as sheriff, serve?

The people of Smith County have chosen to keep Sheriff Smith in office and that was their decision. I don't believe these are lifetime appointments and typically after 30+ years, employees are complacent and beholden to special interest groups. As long as I am effective, I think that in three or four terms I can accomplish what we want to do. We want to bring the Sheriff's Office back to where it needs to be as the model not only for East Texas, but for the whole state.

6. Sheriff Smith has long served as the gatekeeper of public information for the office. What would you do to enhance communication with local media entities and, by extension, the public you serve? Would you assign a deputy as a full-time Public Information official?

With 20 years of media training and experience, I will represent this office and this county as media representative. We will have someone who can stand in for the lesser incidences that occur in the County, but during a crisis or a major incident the people want to hear from their Sheriff. As you know, I have a track record for being the media rep in my precious position, and I maintained a great relationship with all forms of media outlets in Smith County. I will continue the great relationships I have without compromising a criminal or civil matter. We will feed as much information as the District Attorney will allow if it is a current ongoing investigation.

7. What will happen to the current staff if you are elected Sheriff? Will there be sweeping changes, or will you retain people in leadership?

We will begin the process of looking at employees from top to bottom to assess their strengths to make sure they are positioned for success. We will make decisions based on what is best for the Department, the County and our taxpayers. Some in leadership will leave through attrition, some will be reassigned, and some will be replaced.

8. Many people in our jail today are there for some drug-related offense. Do you feel that current court-supervised treatments for drug offenders are successful in reducing costs and crime rate related to drug-related offenses? What would you do to improve this, if anything?

As Sheriff, I will work will all of the judges and our staff will be properly trained and equipped to serve and provide the necessary care for those in our custody. We will certainly comply with the judges court ordered supervised treatment plans. I personally believe someone has to want to help themselves to be a successful candidate for rehab, but it will be my job to carry out the orders from the judges.

9. Another Smith County resident shared this question on social media: will you consider housing federal inmates or inmates from other counties in the new jail as added income for Smith County?

We will house inmates from other counties and the federal government to create added income. I also have a plan to make the Smith County Sheriff's Office a hub for Immigrations Customs Enforcement where we will serve as a one-stop pickup for the federal government for ICE detainees.

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