I had the pleasure, Monday, to sit down with Chris Green at his headquarters on Troup Highway in Tyler and interview him. He was very receptive to the interview and even let me record our session so that I could give you a transcript of exactly what was said. I have to say that I really enjoyed my time talking with Chris Green. He’s very intelligent and has quite a few good ideas! I am posting the interview transcript in it’s entirety. I recommend that you check out Chris Green. His website is http://www.chrisgreenforsheriff.com The following is a full transcript of our interview:
East Texans For Freedom (ETFF): So, what made you decide to run for Smith County Sheriff?
Chris Green (CG): Well, I’ve been a Game Warden here for 16 of my 20 year career and you know I’ve watched these deputies and their interaction with the public. I’ve seen how this administration works and you know hearing from the land owners and business owners all around the county where I travel, I feel like these windows of opportunity don’t come around very often, especially with this current administration being in office for 30+ years. I want to continue to serve in a different capacity than Game Warden. I want to continue to make sure our people here in Smith County are trusting of their law enforcement out in the county and that they get the security that they are longing for. So, I want to continue to serve in a different capacity, and two, I want to give back to a community that’s been so good to me and my family, especially my son. Having a special needs son, and all the trials and tribulations we went through in Dallas and here when we got home, we watched the community rally around us with financial, emotional, and spiritual support and helped us out. Look, I’m good at what I do in law enforcement. I know that I can make some good positive changes for Smith County, the sheriff’s office, and the personnel up there. Hey, this opportunity presented itself and I wanted to make sure that I was part of the new vision that this county has kind of longed for.
ETFF: If you are elected, what will you do to combat corruption within the department?
CG: Well, you know, I’ve heard from several individuals throughout my career, the Smith County Justice Book and such…you know, I’m one of those guys that I don’t want to really look backwards. I want to make sure that our team we’re gonna put together looks forward. When we take office, if there’s some shenanigans that are in that office with our administration, our deputies, or whoever it may be within the Sheriff’s Office, we’re certainly going to address it because we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re going to be above board. We’re going to be ethical. We’re going to be transparent. We’re going to make sure that the tax payers of this county get the best bang for their buck. So, I really don’t want to look back on what may or may not be so, so much as I want to look forward and be positive.
ETFF: Let me skip down a few questions here, as this kind of ties into that. Are you going to have an open door policy for deputies to come in and talk to you about things they see going wrong in the department? If so, how are you going to combat retaliation for people that come to talk to you about that?
CG: Well, it’s not going to be tolerated. You know, retaliation is never a good thing. That comes with morale and there’s some problems there. Yeah, I’m going to have an open door policy and chain of command that we’ll go through, but I’m going to be available for everybody, not only the personnel of the Smith County Sheriff’s Department, but for the public that wants to reach out and visit with their sheriff. We’re elected officials and we work for the people. That’s how we’re going to be under this administration. I think we as game wardens are the most approachable officers in the state. We have contact with the public whether we’re eating, going to church, or picking the kids up from school. We are the most approachable to talk to because we have interpersonal skills. We’re going to continue that with me as sheriff. Yeah, I’m going to be available. I’m not going to be out and about or absentee, whatever it may be, I’m going to be a sheriff available to the people.
ETFF: Ok, now I’m going to go back to the other questions I skipped. You are allowed a “no comment” here. Do you have any proof of corruption in the department here or is it all hearsay as far as you know?
CG: Listen, I dont’ have any proof, nor do we have any investigators. We’re not digging for anything. It a decision that people have to make about this Sheriff’s Office. A lot of stuff in law enforcement is made up, some in retaliation, some for just pure meanness, and sometimes where there’s smoke, there’s fire. I don’t know. I just know that our administration is going to be positive and not look backwards and spend a lot of time and tax dollars doing investigations on a prior administration. We have a lot of work to do right here in this county.
ETFF: Let’s go back to your background in law enforcement. You said that you’ve been a Game Warden for 16 of your 20 years. What did you do for the other 4 years?
CG: Well 16 of my 20 have been here in Smith County, and 4 were in Hopkins County…Sulphur Springs. So I have 20 years state law enforcement. Before that, I was the owner of a small business. I worked as a general contractor in commercial and residential construction, and managed sub-contractors. I’m a perfect blend of business and law enforcement, and I’ll tell you why. The Sheriff’s Office is a law enforcement entity, we know that, but it’s also a big business. I have a business degree from Dallas Baptist University, I’ve worked in the private sector, owner of a small business, and I have 20 years state law enforcement. The best training that Texas has to offer, Texas Game Wardens are the best trained officers in the state. So, a combination of business degree, business experience, and law enforcement is a great combination to be qualified for sheriff of Smith County.
ETFF: I believe that it is important for the Sheriff to interact with the people and the media, one-on-one, so that the public keeps a good relationship with the sheriff. How do you intend to handle the public and the media if you are elected?
CG: Well, I have 20 years of media experience. I was trained to deal with the media and the state saw to it that I became the media spokesman for our department especially in the East Texas area where we had several incidences going on. You know I’m not going to hire a Public Information Officer. The people want to hear from the Sheriff, anyway in high profile cases, any incidences that are major that we need to address, problems with personnel, or whatever it may be. Yeah, I’ve always had a good relationship with our T.V., print, and radio media and will continue to do so as Sheriff. As long as we have a good relationship, then we’ll certainly share information. We’re going to be transparent. We’re going to share information when we get it, if someone requests it, we’re not going to compromise any cases we’re working on just because someone wants information, but sure, we’re going to give people a heads up when they need it.
ETFF: J.B. Smith has been Smith County Sheriff for about 36 years, now. That’s a long time in one office. Many people believe that not having term limits leads to corruption. How do you feel about term limits?
CG: Yeah, I’ve always believed in term limits. J.B. and his crew, they’ve had a really good run, but I think after 30+ years some of the employees get a little complacent…a lot complacent in some regards. You get really beholden to folks and vice versa. The people get really beholden to the Sheriff’s Office where they are really affecting people a lot more. For me, donations, contributions, doing good things, that doesn’t gain you favor. I think that we need equal justice for all across the board and that’s the way we’ll be with our administration.
ETFF: What are some of the main goals you’d like to accomplish as Sheriff?
CG: Well, I think more than anything, we need to rewrite some of the policies. We need to have, again, equal justice for all. Just because I’m running on the republican ticket doesn’t mean that I’m not going to work for democrats, independents, the republicans, everybody…black, white, hispanic. We’re going to be the Sheriff for everybody. I think we have a drug problem in this county, and we’re going to develop a drug task force…we’re not going to cost the taxpayers any more money…we’re going to work within our budget, work with the county judge, work with our commissioners, and we’re gonna put more boots on the ground. More deputies serving the folks of our county that are patrolling the roads. Right now we are way too top heavy. I can see where we can streamline some of those posititions and put more deputies in the field. Just having more deputies in the field patrolling is a deterrent to crime. I know this, because I’ve done it for a long time. Just the presence of a law enforcement officer on some of these county roads deters some of these criminals from crimes of opportunity. So, we are going to streamline, put more boots on the ground, and we’re going to have a new vision, some new leadership, a new direction. We going to go after some of our guys, men and women, that have warrants. We’re going to have a warrant division, civil division, we’re going to have a drug task force, like I said. We’re just not going to only work the interstates, we’re going to work inside this county and go after some of these meth labs, some of these drug houses that haven’t been getting much attention. You know, drugs are the root of most the crimes that occur in this county. You know, our problems aren’t so much major crimes as it is larceny/theft…burglaries…assault/family violence. These are the crimes that most occur, not so much those other incidences that are serious and impact others lives. The majority of our crimes are drug driven, are larceny/theft, burglaries, and assault/family violence. That’s what we deal with as Sheriff’s Deputies day in and day out. We average about 15 larceny/thefts a day. So, they need some attention.
ETFF: With the National Defense Authorization Act in place, how would you protect the citizens of Smith County from being detained indefinitely by federal agents for something as simple as protesting peacefully, or writing a blog like mine that speaks out against overreaching government? Would you have any recourse or would you feel you HAD to step aside?
CG: Well, I’m not going to step aside for anything that violates the constitution with our people. The NDAA, I noticed that most of our senators or congressmen…or all of them, signed on to it. Hopefully, the provisions 1021 and 1022 will be rewritten. There are some good things in the NDAA, but there are also parts that I can’t go along with. As Sheriff, our responsibilities aren’t getting inside the crime scene tape and investigating scenes..it is the Sheriff’s Office responsibility, but the Sheriff himself or herself, our responsibility is certainly to be bound by the United States Constitution. We take the oath of office to protect our citizens and be the supreme keepers of the peace and make sure that the federal government doesn’t overreach. We’re part of the executive branch of government. We are the executors of the law. But again, we are to maintain law and order, preservation, domestic peace and tranquility for our respective counties. Hey, I’m going to be the last line in the sand between the people of this county and the federal governemnt. They come in here and want to pull some of these things that violate the Constitution on our folks, I’m going to be a Sheriff that stands up for them (the people).
ETFF: When dealing with Child Protective Services, would you allow them to remove children from the home of a loving parent for homeschooling because CPS says it is isolating the child?
CG: Well, again, the constitution…there are so many organizations that the constitution didn’t even think were going to come about…Homeland Security, EPA, ATF, and the multitude of agencies that want to run roughshod over the people. I know some folks that are homeschooled, and these kids are doing just fine. They do meet with other kids. Public shools these days…my kids are in public school and some of the are great…but some aren’t. I think parents should have that choice in what they want to do with their kids. If their life isn’t in jeopardy, they are getting their meds, their vaccinations like they should…again, that’s another vaccinations…I could go off on a rabbit trail there…
ETFF: That was my next question, actually…
CG: If the kids are safe, their getting educated…kids are our future…they can be our future criminals or they can be our future leaders…but I think the parents play a huge roll in that. Now, law enforcement officers wear many hats. We are social workers at times, school teachers are social workers at times. A lot of things we normally wouldn’t get involved in we will. If we go do a check on a family that has kids at home that are homeschooled and are home a lot…and they are well nourished, they look good, no bruises or scratches or cigarette burns on them anywhere, I think that’s going to be just fine to have those kids there. I don’t see why we would snatch kids away from their parents unless some of the things I mentioned have come about that we see, and then CPS will get involved. If there’s neglect or a violation there, then we’ll certainly sit down and evaluate them.
ETFF: Would you allow children to be removed from the home for a parent giving their child raw milk, not vaccinating, or from a single parent with health issues, but that had a good support system in place?
CG: Well, again, you go and evaluate something like that. It’s a tough call when you start taking kids away from their parents. I’ve worked many incidences where they involved near fatalities or fatalities of kids. I’ve had to call CPS a few times on individuals where there was some neglect, especially in a fatality where you want to make sure there wasn’t any other neglect at home. Most of those cases when CPS was called was because I wanted them to intervene and find out of things were OK. If they were OK in their minds, then they are the experts that know that, then leave those kids in place. You know vaccines…that’s a choice that parents make. I don’t necessarily agree with it too much, but they are the parents of those kids, but again, I don’t want some of these diseases that we’ve eradicated over here to come back. It think we have a lot of problems with that when some of our folks are coming over from other countries that aren’t getting vaccinated and they are bringing back some of these diseases we have eradicated with these vaccines. You know I have a special needs child and he has some autistic tendencies, I don’t blame it on vaccines. I think we need a lot more research when it comes to what vaccines do to our folks. We could spin off on different things that doctors have said. You know there’s a percentage of doctors that say they don’t and some say they do, kind of like global warming. So there needs to be a lot more evaluation done on our vaccines before I can make a definite decision.
ETFF: How would you ensure that there is cooperation between departments such as fire departments, city police, and the sheriff’s department? Would there be any training for the S.O. such as ICS and NIMS, and if so, would those be made into policy so deputies have to adhere to those policies?
CG: Well, I will tell you that I am probably one of the only candidates running that has worked in the field with every police agency, fire department paid and volunteer in this county. I have a good track record of doing that. We’ve worked together on many different incidences. They’ve helped me, I’ve helped them. I won’t have to introduce myself to any of these folks out there. They know me, they know my work ethic, they know how I was as a Game Warden. We’ve always worked together and shared information. We will continue to do that as a Sheriff’s Office. The people that we’re going to put on this team are all like minded with me that we are going to work with other agencies. There’s problems in this county. We have commissioners that don’t like their constables. We have Constables that don’t like other constables. We have constable that don’t like commissioners. The PD and the Sheriff’s Office have a rub. Arp PD, bless their hearts, they are out there all alone. They can’t even communicate with anyone in Smith County, they have to communicate with a Police Department in another county. So, we don’t communicate very well right now, but we’re certainly going to do that under our administration. We’re going to work as a team. We’re going to train together, we’re going to work together. I have talked to the other chiefs in this county and they are all in agreement with the plans that we have to do just that. Have mock training…an airplane crash, have training out there with all of our first responders. Training at schools…we just had another school shooting up in Ohio. We’ve talked to the leadership at TJC to have mock training out there with a gunman in the classroom and work with the campus police. We’re going to do that sort of training. We’re going to work together and have better communications and we don’t have to raise taxes to do so! We just have to be more efficient with the dollars that we have. I think they need to be better managed, and I promise you that we’ll make sure our folks will do that.
ETFF: Do you know what Agenda 21 is?
CG: Yeah I know a little bit about Agenda 21. The U.N., the big power grab, trying to tell us where we can live, what kind of food we can grow, the taking over of our properties…I’m not real crazy about Agenda 21.
ETFF: How will you combat Agenda 21 here in Smith County?
CG: Well I don’t know if we have anything like that here in Smith County. Some people are trying to relate Tyler 21 to Agenda 21. I’m not sure how it correlates, but I can tell you, as Sheriff, I’m going to protect my citizens out there in the county from some of the emminent domain claims, our second amendment rights, fourth amendment, tenth amendment. I promise you we are going to protect our citizens. The U.N. is not going to come in here and do anything with the citizens of Smith County as long as I am Sheriff.
So, there you have it, my interview with Chris Green for Smith County Sheriff. If you have any more questions for him, please feel free to call and make an appointment with him, or check out his website for his stance on the issues. I’d like to thank Chris Green for taking time out of his busy schedule to do this interview! If you wonder who I am supporting for Smith County Sheriff, I’m for Chris Green all the way!!
Our next interview will be later this week with Matt Schaefer who is running for State Representative district 6. He is running against Leo Berman (incumbent). My interview with him is Thursday at 1p. If you have any questions for him, please feel free to comment here with them and I will be sure to add them to my list. Thanks so much for reading and being involved!!