3 Angelina County officers apply to be first new sheriff in decade

Angelina County officers apply to be first new sheriff in decade
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:45 PM CST
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Change is coming to the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office as Sheriff Greg Sanches is set to retire on Jan. 1 after a decade of service to the county.

Three officers have applied for the soon-to-be vacant position and all have established law enforcement experience.

Those applicants are Mark McLin, the current chief deputy at the sheriff’s office, Bryan Holley, a Hudson ISD Police Officer, and Tom Selman, who’s currently on his fifth term as Constable for Precinct 1 of Angelina County.

McLin will serve as the interim sheriff at the start of 2023 until the commissioners appoint one of them as the sheriff to serve the two years remaining on Sanches’ term. After that term, the position will go back to the people for an election.

McLin says his time at the office has prepared him for the role and he can’t see him anywhere besides at the sheriff’s office.

“I want to continue to serve them,” McLin said. “I’ve been here for 18 years this is my home. This is where I want to continue to work until I retire.”

And in his experience the staffing shortage is one of the most pressing needs the office has, and throughout the last year, with the help of the commissioners, the office has seen pay raises and more access to overtime pay. But McLin says he doesn’t want to let up on making the job more attractive to officers.

“We’ve had an extreme problem with hiring and keeping people in law enforcement,” McLin said. “We’re going to continue to work on that.”

Holley says he wants to take that even further by reestablishing the deputy reserve program to help the community.

“That way we have more boots on the ground,” Holley said. “We have more officers at our disposal to fill the gaps when we have shortages of the full time employees.”

He says there’s several issues that he’d like to revisit and reestablish to keep the officer from getting stagnant.

“We’ve got to make this county one of the safest places that we can possible,” Holley said.

Selman says that over the last year the county has had a “rough time in government” with commissioners and a county judge being indicted for crimes and that regaining the trust of the people in Angelina County is crucial for whoever becomes the next sheriff.

“I think new leadership coming in at the first of the year we can help restore the faith in county government,” Selman said. “That’s what I’d like to do is help restore the people’s faith in our institutions here. Which has frankly been damaged over the last year or so.”

And he says he can help smooth those relations over with the way he deals with the community and his officers with his leadership.

“Work alongside my people to lead from the front,” Selman said. “And not sit in the office all the time and conduct administrative duties. I’m a working constable.”

The commissioners court will decide which applicant will become the next sheriff on Jan. 24.