POSTED: Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 11:26pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 10, 2012 - 12:21pm
TYLER — Lindsay Mosley is a criminal justice student at Tyler Junior College. She's one of the many students that submitted questions to the candidates at Thursday night's Smith County Sheriff's Debate.
"I'm hoping that Smith County can get a little bit bigger force cause that's what Smith County deserves," Mosley said.
Criminal Justice professors said they asked candidate Donn Rust more than once to attend the debate, but he had a prior committment.
So it was Larry Smith, Bobby Garmon and Chris Green all in a row at the front of the crowded room.
One of the most important questions of the night is a hot topic in the community.
If you get elected, will you "clean house" so to speak...and bring in your own staff?
Garmon, who has been with J.B. Smith's administration for decades, answered first with a sharp 'no!'
"Let me say that again...no! We have 270 years in our staff. We have the best detectives, the best patrol men," Garmon said.
Retired Smith County Game Warden Chris Green whose campaign slogan is "A fresh start" was next up.
"Again, let me just tell ya that a fresh start doesn't mean I'm gonna come in as Sheriff on day one and fire everybody, I'm not gonna do that, that's just not practical," Green said.
And retired ATF special agent Larry Smith said he won't clean house because there are plenty of good men and women there with good training.
"I will tell you this...what the measurement will be...who cannot work for me from day one -- and there's a couple there -- the one that cannot work for me from the first day is like I said earlier, someone who has lost their integrity," Smith said.
One of the other topics tonight -- us.
Who will be the one speaking to your local news stations?
Who will you see representing the county?
While Chris Green takes pride in his media experience and talked several times about being the face of the county, Larry Smith and Bobby Garmon both said they won't be doing a lot of that...they will have public information officers to act as liasons.
So we ask -- what do you think about that?
Do you think the Smith County Sheriff should be the one providing you with the information? Or should they be spending their time behind the scenes?
Let us know by leaving a comment underneath this story or on our facebook page.