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Home » 2016-03-01 Republican primary » Justice Precinct 1 » Constable » Rusty Fincher

Rusty Fincher
Party Republican
Website http://www.rustyfincher.com
Born
Education Texas A&M Police Academy
Occupation Captain Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office
Religion Southern Baptist
Marital Married

Rusty Fincher

declared

Campaign Finance Reports Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-02-25 01:31:05

2014

2015

2016

Articles Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-02-19 03:46:45

 

MCTP Rating of 70 Source

Submitted by john wertz on 2016-01-05 14:20:30

PROS

  • Profesional, likeable, experienced.
  • Knows department and territory inside out.
  • Consistent progress through ranks.

CONS

  • Failed to identify the primary mission of the department (serving warrants) as an area that needed improvement and suggested that no improvements were needed.
  • Upon questioning said that a warrant's division would be great, but they didn't have the money (for their primary mission)
  • Said pursuing out-of-county warrants impractical - but it's a safety and lost revenue issues.
  • Sees Constable as primarily LE
  • Lake Conroe, their responsibility, is known as deadliest lake in Texas.
  • Failed to acknowledge that current leadership seems top heavy (Constable/Chief Deputy/Captain/4 Lts. that have one sergeant each).
  • Doesn't acknowledge morale problem.
  • Thinks constitution should be a living doc, and change w/the times.
  • Says body-cameras only accessed by public thru subpoena, pertinent to a case.

MCTP Interview Source

Submitted by kenneth vaughn on 2015-12-28 17:16:53

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?

a)    To continue the strong work  begun  under my predecessor,  Constable  Don  Chumley
b)    To continue my sworn oath to protect and serve the residents  of my    precinct
c)    I am uniquely  qualified  to run  for this office as I have been  a leading officer in  it for decades

Thus, there is absolutely no conflict of interest; my interest has been as an officer in this office for 20 years now

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

I have worked closely with the current constable of 20 years, Don Chumley, who selected me as his choice to succeed him based on my qualifications and experience in his office. I have effectively been his "Num ber 2 Man" for years, and he has imparted all of his knowledge of the office and what it takes to lead it to me.

My qualifications  and experience  include:

  • Graduated  from the Texas A&M Police Academy  in   1980.
  • Shortly thereafter, joined the Harris County Precinct I Constable's office.
  • In the mid-1980s, transitioned to the Houston Belt and Terminal Railway Company as a Special Agent  and  Railroad Detective.
  • In  1995 joined  the Montgomery  County  Constable's  Office as a Precinct  1 Deputy.
  • Within two years, I was promoted to Sergeant, then promoted to Lieutenant.
  • In  1999, I was promoted  to the rank of Captain,  in which  capacity I've served  ever  since.
  • From 1995 to 2005, I was a "drug dog cop" with my able canine partner Sam, conducting drug sweeps and student presentations.
  • In 2001, I also gained Sheba, a bom b dog, due to my fundraising initiative with the Optimists Club in Conroe and private donations. My dogs and I partnered until 2005.

HONORS  AND RECOGNITIONS

  • Master Police Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which is the highest such certification a Peace Officer can obtain.
  • Civil Proficiency Certificate from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
  • Texas Justice of the Peace & Constable Association -Constable Leadership Institute - Graduate of Leadership Institution
  • Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas -Constables Leadership College  Graduate

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

  • The surging growth  of Montgomery  County; we need  to be prepared  to handle  it
  • Effectively managing the resources given to the department, given that the legislature does not mai ntain any consistency and we need to be prepared to adapt at a moment 's notice
  • Ensuring the department -which must grow as the county population grows -maintains its ability to protect and serve effectively

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

My primary goal is to continue the strong work that my predecessor, Constable Dom Chumley, has effective managed over the past two decades. Have worked closely with and under him , I have intimate i nside knowledge of what has worked, and my own thoughts on what can be changed , improved, and i ntroduced. Don Chumley measures me against him, and I can't think of a better person against whom to be measured

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

By their own nature, they need to be living documents, to a certain extent. There are currently 27 amendments to the US Constitution, and one was even repealed by another. The first ten amendments, which became the Bill of Rights, were established by the very framers of the original constitution , so they know it must be allowed to change with times.
That being said, I believe with every fiber of my being that the constitutions of both my country and my state must be folJowed without hesitation. Despite certain administrations' attempts to bypass constitutional rule, there are a series of checks and balances that ensure these documents remain our foundation.

What is the job of a Constable? 

The primary duty of a Constable is to ensure his office is committed to protect and preserve a safe community. The Constable's department strives to provide courteous law enforcement with integrity, respect  and professionalism.

Among the typical law enforcement duties provided by any constable's office, Precinct Ialso provides law enforcement and safety for Lake Conroe. Itserves "mental health warrants" and criminal warrants. Criminal Warrants Division and the Mental Health Division. Itprovides law enforcement services to Willis Independent School District, with the goal to provide the students and staff with a safe learning and teaching environment. The office has acquired dogs that are specifically trained to detect drugs and explosive devices. In cooperation with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, this department assists the Sex Offender Compliance Unit with unannounced checks of registered sex offender and makes sure that they are in compliance. This office also is attached with the Montgomery County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

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

Montgomery County Livestock Show & Rodeo

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

I believe it is a voter's duty to thoroughly research the candidates and their positons and experience. A voter should be encouraged to contact the candidates and interrogate them until all their questions are answered to their satisfaction.

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?

From a local HOA to a federal government, there is always the possibility of corruption.By trusting those you work with and for, and by ensuring you lead by example the highest moral qualities, and be ruthless in the punishment of corruption, and by proper vetting proced ures, this department can continue to remain corruption free.

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

As many as it takes

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?

I believe continuing education is essential for maximum efficiency in this department (indeed, some of it is mandatory), so as relevant opportunities to learn arise, Ibelieve both myself and my staff should take full advantage of them. However, a balance must be struck so that there is plenty of time and opportunity to implement what has learned (I believe up to two weeks per year could be dedicated to additional learning).

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

In short, I have spent my entire adult life as a law enforcement officer, and T have spent the past 20 years being in the very department and office which Iwish to lead . Under the tutelage of Don Chumley, the existing Constable, I have spent every day learning from the best while at the same time bei ng trusted by my boss to implement my own ideas and procedures.

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

Don Chumley, the current (and retiring) Precinct l Constable who has held that position for two decades

Budget

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

  • Fuel (understand ing that the department has a fleet for both land and lake) -the volatility of the oil and gas industry means wildly  fluctuating  fuel prices need to be prepared   for
  • Man-hours -From my two decades in this department, I understand the need for fluidity in the budget; for instance, lake patrol budget must significantly increase in the summer but can be lowered during the off-season
  • Growth -The county is growing at a fast pace, and as new roads are built and existing roads  are expanded, and as more visitors come to the lake, and as more businesses are established , the Constable's department must grow and adapt to match

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

Iffederal money "with no strings attached" is offered, the funds would be accepted and used to maximum benefit.

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

Under the existing constable, my boss and mentor Don Chumley, there is already clear transparency and access to all records that are legally open to public consumption. However, if any of my staff or constituents have suggestions to further improve  them, I will  happily  listen.

Other civil liberty

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

I would fight against this implementation with all my resources. In law, there is no one "one size fits all" -especially when it's based on United Nations -situation. Yes, communication between agencies is essential, but only to facilitate matters and to maximize the opportunities to protect and serve; however, jurisdictions exist for a reason. How the residents of Precinct 1 are treated might not fit with another region's treatment, wheth er it be local or global. In short, Jet local law enforcement provide local law.

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

I believe these cameras could be vital in the context that they could provide a clear answers in complex cases. I would be remiss if I didn't admit that it would inspire officers to always follow proper procedures. While I am in no way a fan of "Big Brother is watching you" I think the cameras could be effective in solving crimes and maintai ning order and easing congestion in our courts. As for ready public availability, I am concerned that is a Pandora's box that could let issues get out of hand. T believe the cameras' footage should only be used under proper subpoena for court proceedings.

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?

From firsthand experience, I am comforted by the fact that the Constable's office has been unquestioningly  led by the man who is best suited for the job . His endorsement of me has nothing to do with "good old boy network" or nepotism , but instead that we have worked closely for three decades. As a sworn life-long peace officer, l can't bring myself to be in a position - or offer a position - because it's my friend. Maintaining a strong vetting process for all applicants is a way to keep this in check.