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ELECTION 2020: Nueces County sheriff's race

College professor calls for double-counting black voters
Posted at 10:40 PM, Oct 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-03 22:58:22-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —

CandidateVotes
JC Hooper64,82552.93%
David Torres57,62947.06%

Vote Centers Reported: 84/84

Here are candidates running for Nueces County sheriff in this year's election. Minor edits have been made for clarity.

J.C. HOOPER (INCUMBENT)

What is your age?

I am 61 years old.

What is your current or past occupation?

I am currently the sheriff of Nueces County. I was sworn in on November 1, 2018.

What relevant experience can you bring to office?

See Attached Bio. (Editors Note: Candidates in each race were asked to answer the same questions for the sake of impartiality. The preprepared bio referenced by Hooper is not linked for that reason.)

How have your life experiences prepared you for this position?

I believe that my 38 years of continuous law enforcement service in this county gives me the connections, broad-ranging experience, and community relationships that are required to be an effective sheriff. I have learned leadership and management skills in academic and real life, real-time environments.

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

The most significant problem that I faced on day one was jail staffing. We continue to be aggressive and very high energy when it comes to recruiting, training, and retaining the public servants that are needed to keep our jail safe and secure for both the inmates and the community.

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

Long-term issues include staffing, and an aging building and infrastructure. I will be working with the county judge and commissioners court to keep both jail structures compliant and safe.

What is local government doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

Jail-diversion programs for mental health-care consumers has evolved well over the last 17 years. The current diversion programs occur after the arrest. There needs to be broadening of options for first responders, giving them more legal options in dealing with mental health-care consumers prior to arrest and booking. This will take legislative action.

DAVID TORRES

What is your age?

I am 64 years of age.

What is your current or past occupation?

I am a retired Corpus Christi Police commander. I have served 32 years at the Corpus Christi Police Department.

What relevant experience can you bring to office?

I have 23 years of executive experience, (10 years as a captain and 13 years as a commander). In addition, I’m a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and I have worked all major divisions at the CCPD. I’m a Crisis-Management graduate from Austin, Texas, and Washington, DC. I was in charge of the pre-operational plans before, during, and after hurricanes, one deadly tornado, numerous refinery explosions, and other high-profile events.

How have your life experiences prepared you for this position?

I have been in charge of 350 officers, and also in charge of performance and disciplinary issues for the officers under my command. I have also been in charge of $60 million budgets under my command. My life experiences through working with CCPD has prepared me to see and understand how all major divisions work together for the betterment of the department and the community.

What problems would you address on your first day in office?

The three major problems I would address on the first day in office would be the continued threat of COVID-19 and how to manage and contain it in the county jail. I have a detailed plan to implement concerning the management of COVID(-19) in the jail. There is also a severe manpower shortage we are currently facing, and my plans are to hire a private marketing firm to assist the Sheriff’s Office in the recruitment and retention of officers. Additionally, I would focus on improving the low morale of officers and employees throughout the Sheriff’s Office by initiating an objective and fair promotion system for officers. I would also implement a bi-weekly management labor meeting to readily fix or initiate procedures and policies that are advantageous to the development and safety of all employees. All of my goals and objectives will be written and shared with the employees of the Sheriff’s Office and the community. This will set the expectation of my administration.

What do you see as long-term issues which need to be addressed throughout your time in office?

Long-term issues that need to be addressed are to increase the Sheriff’s Office efforts to reconnect with the public and to expand our services to the public. I want to initiate an Ad Hoc Citizens Advisory Council, containing three Republicans and three Democrats, to assist the Sheriff’s Office in prioritizing the changes that will be occurring at our agency. Lastly, finding creative ways to increase our manpower and increase our capital improvements through various local, state, and federal grants is another long-term issue that will be addressed by delegating an individual to be in charge of writing our grants.

What is local government doing well right now that needs to be expanded further?

One thing that is working well that needs to be expanded is, last year, the county and city started a Crisis Intervention Unit that attempts to divert mentally disabled individuals away from the county jail. This program does not have an aftercare program, nor does it cover the weekends due a shortage of manpower. This can be expanded to divert these individuals from the county jail, through state or federal grants.