BOWIE COUNTY, Texas (KTAL) – There’s going to be a new sheriff in town in Bowie County, and you the voters, will decide who it is.
Tuesday’s race is between Bowie County chief deputy Jeff Neal and New Boston Police investigator and Precinct 2 Constable George Huggins.
Huggins worked for the sheriff’s department for almost two decades and said he watched the department take several budget cuts that he believes took many officers off the streets.
“Seeing deputies in the area, they have too much area to cover. The west end deputies have approximately 300 square miles of area to cover. So if you’re north of Dekalb you may get a call in Hooks and that’s all of that deputies responsibility and that’s just way too much. We need more deputies out here on the streets.”GEORGE HUGGINS
After serving 30 years in law enforcement, 13 of those years with the sheriff’s department, Neal, a husband and father of two also sees a need for more deputies on the streets.
He also thinks mental health in jail needs to be addressed.
“I also believe that mental health issues in the jail are a huge issue and I’m proud to say that Bowie County has partnered with our local mental health authority community health court to put a full-time worker in the jail. Monday through Friday 8-5. But I think we need to continue to push forward and look for innovative ways to help them keep people from ending up in jail. Where I don’t think they need to be.”JEFF NEAL
Huggins, a husband, and father of four served in the army for seven years. He said having a leadership position in the military has helped prepare him for the office of sheriff.
“As Sheriff, you just need someone who’s an effective leader- dedicated and committed. I’ve lead soldiers and I’ve trained soldiers. I’ve lead officers and I’ve trained officers,” said Huggins.
Neal spent several years investing in his education to make him a more well-rounded law enforcement officer. Recently, Neal has completed a leadership command college.
Election Day is Tuesday, March 3rd from 7:00a.m – 7:00p.m.