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Home » 2016-03-01 Republican primary » Justice Precinct 1 » Constable » Sam Laird

Sam Laird
Party Republican
Website www.lairdforconstable.com
Born
Education High School, Military, Some College
Occupation Security Manager
Religion Decker Prairie Church of Christ
Marital Married

Sam Laird

declared

Campaign Finance Reports Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-02-25 22:08:18

2015

2016

MCTP Rating of 74 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-02-06 18:39:15

PROS

  • Has maintained his high energy, gung-ho Marine attitude
  • Good interagency LE and Security background
  • Understands over all constable role (Service papers)
  • Willing to reduce salary to fund additional training.
  • Outsider status means he will bring fresh ideas

CONS

  • Concern he wants to grow department at the expense of the sheriff.
  • Spotty on constitution - called it a living doc in questionnaire.
  • High strung demeanor questionable for constable role.
  • Limited experience related to civil law enforcement
  • Outsider status will require more time for him to learn the local situation
  • One contributor to his campaign has given $110,000 (of the $111,0700 received), raising eyebrows.

MCTP Interview Source

Submitted by kenneth vaughn on 2015-12-28 17:18:21

Questionnaire

General

Have you ever been arrested? Ever had any tax liens? If so, start & resolution dates?

No.

 

What are the three main reasons you are running for this office? Do you see any potential conflicts of interest?

The three main reasons I am running for office are first, by working in law enforcement for many years, I have seen a lot of problems and heard many grievances. I want to be in a position where I can effectively correct those problems. Second, I want to build a good relationship with the public. I believe there is a disconnect between law enforcement and citizens.  I want to bring back good community policing. Third, the current Constable is retiring. Looking at the other candidates, I do not feel any of the candidates will bring new ideas to the position.  Because of my deep conviction for law enforcement, the position of Constable is greater than myself. I believe I am the person that can drive this department forward. I do not see any potential conflicts of interest as Constable. 

Please describe the qualifications and experience that make you the best candidate for the office you are seeking.

The qualifications and experiences that make me the best candidate include. Promoting through the ranks in the Marine Corps has taught me how to supervise people especially in high stress situations. The decisions I made in a combat zone while in Iraq could determine whether or not my Marines went home.

My time as a Texas State Trooper has taught me the fundamentals of law enforcement as well as working with other agencies. Both my time, in the military and with the Department of Public Safety, has taught me the importance of coordinating with other agencies to complete the objectives.

During my time in both military and in law enforcement I have worked under good and bad supervision/Management. I have learned how an effective supervision can greatly enhance productivity and moral.

Currently I am helping to manage a security firm for a international oil and gas company which has given me the opportunity to enhanced my supervision skills. I am able to interact with prominent foreign nationals, which has helped my communication skills.     

What do you see as the 3 major challenges for your office over this next term?

The three major challenges for my office over this next term will be transitioning to a new era of leadership within the department while establishing new leadership guidelines. Creating new working relationships with other county officials, and developing a good community policing environment within the precinct. 

What goals do you have in mind, if you are elected, and to which you want to be measured against in the coming term?

The goals I have in mind if I am elected include, more visibility on the streets, establishing good community policing, enhancing the departments presence on Lake Conroe, establishing a robust warrant division, and increasing the effectiveness of the patrol division. I will strive to be measured on fairness, honesty, and leadership skills by earning the respect of the public.

Are the United States and Texas constitutions living documents?  Please answer in the context of Progressivism versus Originalism.   

The framers of both Constitutions wisely spoke in general terms which left succeeding generations the task of applying that language to the changing environment in which they would live.  As a living document there are ways to make changes through ratifying new amendments or repealing old, however the United States Constitution has largely gone unchanged since ratification in 1789, with exceptions to several amendments.  Most of the “Living Document” term comes from interpretations of the document by the judiciary, which doesn’t change the documents language but alters the course of its meaning through interpretations and rulings.

 

The Texas Constitution is very much a living document, as it has been ratified and changed hundreds of times since its creation.  It is far easier to make changes and ratify new amendments under the law in Texas by allowing the people to have a voice in those changes.  This is unlike the U.S. Constitution, where only the legislative branches of either the states or federal government have the ability to make changes.  In that sense, the people are vastly removed from the decision making process, which goes against the wishes of the framers when the documents were envisioned.   

What is the job of a Constable? 

The foremost duties of the Constable are civil process, warrants, as well as providing Bailiffs for the Justice of the Peace. A Constable also serves as a licensed police office. The Constable performs law enforcement functions within the county to serve as a force multiplier to strengthen the presence of law enforcement in the county, and specifically Precinct 1.   

Civic, Political or union organization or individuals to whom you have contributed (five years):

Decker Prairie Church of Christ, Pro Life Campaign, Marie Corps Association, Marine Corps League, Wayne Mack Prayer breakfast, Wounded Warriors, and Salvation Army.

Please describe the best way for the average voter to determine which candidate for this office is best.

The best way for a voter to determine who is not only qualified but prepared to run a Constable’s office,  is by looking at a person for who they are and consider  their  professional growth over the years.  I have consistently demonstrated my professional development throughout my time  as a law enforcement officer and as a Marine NCO.  My family and I are very involved with Decker Prairie Church, and  serving my fellow law enforcement officers and Marines in many civic organizations throughout our community. 

Where do you think the possibility for corruption resides in county government?  How would you handle it in your department, even if you think there is none?

Corruption can happen at any level of any government or business.  Any time you have administrators not leaders running a department or office, you will have complacency,  which breads corruption.  I will immediately bring leadership to our constable’s office, ensuring the needs and goals of the citizens we serve are addressed.  By being visible to the public and our employees, the chances of corruptions decrease.  If corruption is suspected or found, it will immediately be reported to the District Attorney’s office for investigation while that individual is place on immediate leave pending the outcome of the investigations. 

How many hours a week working cases does it take to be a "good" law enforcement officer?

Depends on the individual people learn in different ways, I do not think you can put a time on that.

I do believe the longer you work in the field the better and faster you will become at completing your work and become a better officer.

How many days off per year should the officeholder of this position take to learn (seminars & workshops) or teach (give educational or motivational talks) or network with other county officials?

  As a candidate for Constable, a question relating to the sheriffs operations or policies should be directed at the candidates for that office.  As a leader and not an administrator I would want only the days off per year as required by law for me to attend continuing education courses.  Otherwise I want to be highly visible with every deputy and within the precinct working with citizens on a daily basis. 

What have you done to prepare for serving in this role?

I have been in law enforcement for many years from DPS which taught me how to work with other agencies; I have had Precinct One holding my commission for three years now so I’m familiar with the department already.  My time in the military has also taught me to be a good leader.

Who is endorsing you and what is their relationship to you?

My campaign for this office has just begun and I meet people from all across our community, at this time I have no formal endorsements but I wholeheartedly expect endorsements in due time.

Budget

What are the top 3 areas where the budget for this office needs to be adjusted?

The largest expense in the department is our human resources.  In order to ensure our Constables Office has the best trained employees, who are able to handle a wide array of issues, along with stretching our dollars to maximize the return for the tax payers, I would work with Commissioners court to accomplish the following: 1) Increase the training budget to at least 1 percent of overall budget, currently sitting at less than 1 tenth of a percent of overall budget.  I would make the adjustments to accomplish this request without adding to the overall budget, by first not accepting the new pay increase for Constables, saving $10,000 a year.  Secondly, I would look for ways to cut communications cost through cell phone allowances, and internet air cards used in the department, saving another $8,000 per year.  2) Cost controls on items not related to human resources.  Keeping office cost, fuel cost, and equipment repair cost as low as possible.  3) Evaluate contracts for service to ensure funding levels are adequately covering the cost of providing contracted services.   

What is your position on taking federal money for your department?

I believe if you take money from the Federal Government it should only be used to provide extra lew enforcement services. If a department is using the funds as a means of funding the department payroll then I believe your indebted to the Federal Government to do their will, as soon as you refuse they will pull the funds causing your department to make drastic changes or  comply with their orders, and I don’t want to ever be in that situation.

How will you improve the transparency and access to financial and other records for the public?

I will put on the department website links to budget reports and information on how to obtain records that they might want, as well as “contact us” information so they can send in questions.

Other civil liberty

What is your knowledge/opinion on Strong Cities Network?  What action would you take if Obama administration attempts to implement it?

 The Obama administration along with the Department of Justice under Attorney General Loretta Lynch have implemented a plan that would erode the very fabric our Texas exceptionalism by attempting to subvert our authority and way of life.  The Strong Cities Network claims to be “inspiring local resilience on a global scale” and in my opinion our only way to be resilient is to keep less government and more freedom!  I do not want the President, DOJ, or United Nations to enter our community with the goal of adding fuel to the fire or with a hidden agenda to take over operations.  I strongly believe in the free and sovereign state, to include a free and sovereign citizen.  The Strong Cities Network on the surface would bring local controls under the guidance and authority of a global bureaucracy.  Under the surface there are surely underlying measures that are not disclosed to ensure the erosion of local controls.  

What is your position of dash/body cams & public availability of that info

Body cameras in this era are almost a necessity. Almost all law enforcement officers are good hard-working people, the cameras will help protect officers from false reports of wrong doing, as well as helping to ensure that officers are not engaged in wrong doing.   This is a two-fold protection both for citizens and law enforcement.  

 

On dash board cameras I’m also for them, they provide a broader view to what is going on around the officer. Both will help in providing good evidence for cases the department is working on as well as providing proof on no wrong doing by the officers using them.      

Ethics

How much of a problem is county hiring based on the "good old boy" / "loyalty to leadership" instead of one's ability to efficiently and ethically perform their tasks and functions? and what can realistically be done about it?

 As an outsider to the entire Montgomery County structure I am the only candidate that can uniquely enter this office without ever having worked for the County before, or having prior commitments that must be address once I am in office.  Therefore placing me in the best position to bring immediate changes to the department for the good, while keeping my loyalties where they will and should lie, with the tax payers.