COLUMN: Sheriff Johnny Brown announces re-election campaign

Submitted photo.
Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown.

My name is Johnny Brown and I am your Ellis County Sheriff. During the past eight years, your Sheriff’s Office has accomplished much and I’m asking for your support for a third term so we can continue providing you with the best possible law enforcement.

I believe my record as your Sheriff stands as testament to my 2008 campaign motto and promise: “A New Philosophy for a New Future.” Since being sworn into my first term of office on Jan. 1, 2009, I have built upon the foundations laid by the Sheriffs before me and I’ve done my best to move your Sheriff’s Office forward.

We’ve had a 65% reduction in the volume of Part 1 crimes from 2008 to present. We’ve put more marked units and uniformed deputies out on the roads and we’ve restructured our investigative units. Our deputies understand they are deputies first – and no matter which section where they may be assigned: patrol, civil, warrants, investigation, training – if they’re the closest deputy when a call comes in and a member of our community needs help, they’re to attend to that call until the assigned patrol deputy gets on scene and takes over.

Identifying sex offender violations is another area where we’ve made improvements by initiating multi-agency sex offender audits. In coordination with other agencies, we’ve made surprise visits and check on each registered sex offender a minimum of four times a year – above the state’s minimum requirement of one annual visit. If we find a violation, we file for a warrant and make an arrest.

It’s these types of focused crime fighting efforts – from our increased patrol presence to our internal sharing of information to coordination with other agencies and participation in the Crime Stoppers of Ellis County program – that have led to a major decrease in crime over these past eight years. And you, the community, can join us in taking credit for this reduction because law enforcement is most effective when it partners with the people it serves. Let me be the first to acknowledge the role you’ve played by serving as our extra eyes and ears out across the county.

Besides our lowered crime rate, we’ve made other improvements these past eight years as part of fulfilling our goal to provide you with a Sheriff’s Office you can be proud of. These include the implementation of a comprehensive screening process for deputies and jailers that includes competitive examinations, oral interview boards (which include county residents as part of the board), a timed physical ability course and a thorough background investigation, along with a physical exam, psychological exam and drug screening. We hold our deputies to high standards and we want only the most professional personnel working for you at your Sheriff’s Office.

Many people do not realize the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for two separate budgets: law enforcement operations and jail operations. The county commissioners court sets those budgets and we operate within them. Year after year, we’ve proven that we are fiscally responsible while providing you with the best possible law enforcement service with your tax dollars.

Through partnerships we’ve developed with other agencies and organizations during my first two terms, your Sheriff’s Office has obtained a patrol plane, a boat and two K-9 units at no charge to you, the local taxpayer. All have been deployed numerous times and are effective tools for ensuring the safety and security of our county, which will always be our No. 1 priority.

Another way we’ve saved you money is by implementing the collection of a co-pay from inmates when they want to see a doctor or nurse. We’re required to provide medical service to inmates, but if they have money in their account to buy cookies and candy, they can pay the co-pay first. The money we collect in this manner goes back to the county general fund.

Your Sheriff’s Office believes in building for the future – and our thriving Explorer Program is a prime example. These outstanding young men and women do us proud every time they represent us out in the public, whether they are doing community service or taking part in a competition. This is a program that has received statewide recognition, from taking the top overall trophy at the state championships in 2014 to being honored with state resolutions by the Texas Legislature earlier this year.

As you can see, we’ve implemented a number of successful changes and programs in the past eight years and I welcome the opportunity to speak with you more about the accomplishments of your Sheriff’s Office. I invite you to call me at the office at 972-825-4901 with any questions or comments you might have.

I’m asking for your vote to keep this new philosophy working for you here in Ellis County with a tradition of proven service. Please vote to re-elect me, Johnny Brown, as your Ellis County Sheriff.