Incumbent Mike Little is challenged by Robert Woodruff, who says he's wanted the position since graduating from college and has been working as a Wichita Falls Police Officer for more than a dozen years to prepare himself for the job.
(Questions from Voters Guide for Wichita County by League of Women Voters of Wichita Falls)
Question 1: What are your qualifications for this office (including, your occupation, education, training & experience)? 100 word limit
Question 2: What are the most pressing problems you will face in this office, and how do you feel each one should be handled? 150 word limit
Mike Little - Republican - Wichita Falls
Question 1: I have been Justice of the Peace for 20 years and I have heard thousands of criminal and civil cases along with conducting many jury trials. I am a charter member of the prestigious College of Justice Court Judges and receive this distinction each year. As Justice of the Peace Coroner I have conducted over 400 death investigations. I graduated from MSU earning a Degree in Criminal Justice. I served the Wichita Falls Police Department for over 13 years earning a Master Peace Officer
Certification, numerous awards and commendations. I am a proud veteran of the United States Air Force.
Question 2: I have over 33 years of real legal experience and training. I have initiated, developed and implemented many innovative programs in Wichita County. The Truancy Program has led to increased school attendance, higher graduation rates, less juvenile crime and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in attendance funds paid to the local districts by the State. In 20 years of service to Wichita County I have seen thousands of possible dropouts return to school and become productive tax paying citizens. Many have gone on to become successful nurses, police officers, business professionals and members of the Armed Forces. Streamlining the warrant process for police, the video magistrate system for arrested persons, the central magistrate office are examples of new innovations I have helped to develop. Soon all citizens will be able to file cases on the internet and our website has been retooled to increase public access to the Courts.
Robert Woodruff - Republican - Wichita Falls
Question 1: I graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1988 and received a football scholarship to Western State College of Colorado. I graduated from the University of North Texas in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. I came back home and became a Wichita Falls Police Officer 2001. I have been a Patrol officer, Misdemeanor Detective, Juvenile Detective, DARE Officer and the Wichita Falls Crime Stoppers Coordinator. I have a Masters Police Officer Certification. As a Detective I investigated numerous types of criminal offenses and developed probable causes for search and arrest warrants.
Question 2: I feel the most serious problems facing the Justice of the Peace courts today are backlog, delay and congestion. Each of these seriously threatens the quality and dignity of Justice because courts get behind in their work and then try to speed up and process as many cases as possible. I feel like these problems can be addressed by keeping cases flowing in a timely manner by using organizational skills and by having a dedicated staff that understands the importance of keeping up with the priorities of the court. I feel that good office management depends on people knowing who is responsible for what and being held accountable for their duties. I also feel routine tasks need routine procedures if you want to stay organized and keep things running smoothly
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