Anderson aims to create safer community
By ANTHONY FLORES
Running on the Republican ticket for Williamson County Pct. 2 Constable, Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Jeff Anderson hopes to bring together almost 30 years of law enforcement and military experience in that role.
“I’m the right candidate because I feel like my strongest qualification is my leadership experience,” said Anderson. “I hold a master peace officer’s license and master corrections officer license and training certificate. I’m also a graduate of Sam Houston State Leadership Command College and the Law Enforcement Middle-Management Institute of Texas. I’m a graduate of the FBI Law enforcement executive development and the Air Force Senior Leadership Academy.”
Spending a large portion of his career in the Travis County Sheriff’s office, Anderson has managed multiple departments and divisions.
“At Travis County Sheriff’s Office, I was a patrol sergeant, training program coordinator in both our east and west commands. I supervised DWI step programs, was the drug recognition expert coordinator,” he said. “I supervised the criminal investigations division, supervised the special operations motor and traffic division, and was involved in policy writing. In my time there, I also served as the Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association president and later as vice president. With all that said, I’m a strong, confident a knowledgeable leader.”
While working in law enforcement, Anderson also served in the Air Force and the Reserves. Anderson saw deployment multiple times, with the latest being in Iraq.
“I spent four and a half years in active duty and 22 and a half years in the reserve,” Anderson said. “I’ve had multiple employments, and when I retired, I was a Senior Master Sergeant. I was responsible for out unit deployment to Kuwait after 9/11. My last deployment was Iraq, and then I retired because I had stage 4 throat cancer.”
Should he win, Anderson’s mission is to create a better relationship with the Williamson County community through transparency.
“We always have a mission, and one of the things I want to do is work for the community, engaging in transparency from within the organization,” he said. “I want us to be described as showing a vested interest in our community.”
The law enforcement veteran wants to use his potential position and power to bring a voice to the voiceless.
“I want to use my voice and position to advocate for those who can’t. I want to advocate for equality, equal opportunity, and the rights of citizens. I want to lead with transparency, experience, and integrity,” Anderson said. “I think that integrity within any organization is paramount. Many people will say that I’m running using the word transparency because there are problems over there, but that’s not the meaning behind that. I want to make sure anybody can call, anybody can come in, anybody can ask questions, and we’ll be transparent about everything.”
Anderson’s plan to become more involved with the community starts with an increased presence in schools to educate students on various issues like underage drinking and bullying.
“I want to meet with citizen groups to explain to them what we do, empower them to work with us in our community as a whole,” he said. “I want to engage ourselves to increase visibility in schools and talk to schools about teenage underage drinking programs, bullying, and school attendance issues. I want to engage in child safety programs.”
One of the crucial topics Anderson sees discussed and brought up by the community is public safety. He believes a well-trained and equipped office can be the best deterrent to dangerous situations.
“I talk around the precinct to different groups, and what I’m hearing from the voters is these issues of public safety. Active shooter issues,” he said. “People want to know what we can do to keep our community safe from that kind of stuff. My answer to that is to have the best trained and equipped personnel and have people go get educated on what’s going on.”
A focus on helping the elderly avoid scams and placing more attention on registered sex offenders is a big part of Anderson’s mission to create a safer community.
“One of the biggest things is elderly and how they get scammed often. I want to talk to people in that age group about the scams going on: the phishing and things like that,” Anderson said. “I want to get more involved in compliance checks with registered sex offenders. I want to create and cultivate a safe community.”
Anderson also wants to improve the response to people who may be facing mental health issues. He believes that incarceration is not the best way to handle those kinds of situations.
“We need to have a readily available resource for mental health issues, whether it’s drug abuse or somebody needs to be taken to the right service,” he said. “I don’t believe that incarceration is the way to deal with mental health issues. We have too many services out there, private and public that can deal with this.”
In a growing county, Anderson sees a need for more attention on helping identify people who don’t show up for court appearances.
“Talking to other constables and deputy constables and the justice of the peace, we have a county that is densely populated and is growing,” he said. “The problem they’re seeing is the number of defendants failing to show up for court appearances. When that happens, it disrupts and contributes to additional court actions. We help the court system identify those individuals. We need to help the court system with this growth.”
Acknowledging his friendship with his Democratic opponent, Anderson doesn’t want things to become uncivil and prefers not to disparage him. Instead, he hopes and believes that his resume will be more than enough to sway voters in November.
“I know my opponent very well. I’ve known him for a lot of years, and he’s a good man. He’s a good person, and I like to think that we’re friends,” he said. “When you have this kind of a situation, it’s hard to say why am I better than this person, but I go back to my leadership experience and my background. I’ve managed numerous divisions and sections. When it comes down to it, I think I’m a strong, knowledgeable, and confident leader. I’m not saying I’m a better person than him, but I’m in it to win it.”