Job descriptionThe Sheriff is the executive officer of the county and district courts; he or she serves as a licensed peace office and is responsible for enforcing state criminal laws within the county. Term is four years.
DutiesThe Sheriff’s office is responsible for the following:
  • Manages and operates the county jail

  • Provides security for the courts

  • Serves writs, warrants, civil papers, and other court processes, and seizes property after judgment

  • Enforces traffic laws on county roads

Annual salary$182,482

Who’s Running?

Vance Keyes
Website: https://www.vancekeyes.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanceKeyes4Sheriff/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vance_keyes
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vancekeyes4sheriff/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vance-keyes-aa774a113
Email: vance@vancekeyes.com
Phone: 817-476-1027
Democrat
Bill E Waybourn (incumbent)
Website: https://www.billwaybourn.com/
Email: info@billwaybourn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bill-Waybourn/1611262829118841?fref=ts
Republican

Recent News Articles

Candidate Q&A

1. WHY ARE YOU THE BEST QUALIFIED CANDIDATE?
Vance Keyes
Over my 20-year career, I have held multiple ranks and have served in several different capacities in a large metropolitan police department in one of the most populated cities in the United States. The size and complexity of the agency where I work closely mirrors the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office in size and structure. I am innovative, and I believe relatable. My experience has taught me to focus on public safety by building positive community relationships. I will not waste tax dollars pursuing failed pet projects and I will be available to the people of Tarrant County.
Bill E Waybourn
2. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FEW PRIORITIES IF ELECTED?
Vance Keyes
My top priorities are to create a system of transparency internally and externally, building and continuing positive community relationships, and further professionalizing the sheriff’s office. The ultimate job is working to keep everyone safe and ensuring we provide a high-caliber accountable service. I would like to see the employees of Tarrant County receive additional career enhancing training that will better equip them to do their jobs. In addition I want to evaluate the structure and potentially revise it. Mandatory overtime has been increased which creates a hardship for people already working under stressful conditions.
Bill E Waybourn
3. WHAT PROCEDURES WOULD YOU PUT IN PLACE TO ENSURE THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF OFFICERS, STAFF, AND INMATES IN THE TARRANT COUNTY JAIL?
Vance Keyes
I believe updated and relevant training for officers to include proper equipment will greatly increase officer safety. The idea is to equip employees with the tools and support they need to be safe. Inmate safety will be increased by well-trained officers and through proper screening that assesses inmate mental health as well as the risk they pose to themselves or others. Another important aspect I will address to improve safety is the staffing issue and inmate to officer ratio.
Bill E Waybourn
4. TARRANT COUNTY ALLOWS COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT TO WORK WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE) OFFICERS TO CARRY OUT IMMIGRATION FUNCTIONS. PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS.
Vance Keyes
I disagree with this policy because the sheriff’s responsibility is to focus on local law enforcement and issues that most impact Tarrant County. The ongoing issues at the Tarrant County jail provides a great example why resources most be concentrated locally. The office should not be used as an extension of ICE. Doing so diverts resources from other duties that are necessary to keep communities safe. The U.S. Constitution guarantees due process for anyone within U.S. Borders. Being undocumented is a civil, not criminal immigration law violation. The policy is not a best criminal justice practice, is ineffective, and divisive. It also threatens the ethos of community policing.
Bill E Waybourn
5. DO YOU THINK THE CURRENT SCOPE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITIES IS PROPERLY BALANCED WITH SOCIAL SERVICE FUNCTIONS?
Vance Keyes
No, I do not. By default, law enforcement agencies respond to varied situations and calls for service that have less to do with law enforcement and more to do with social services. Even in some of the most criminogenic cities, the response to serious and violent crime does not account for the bulk of police responses. When the nature of service primarily involves law enforcement, officers must be emotionally intelligent, socially aware, and competent to make better decisions in their interactions. Law enforcement will always bear some responsibility for social services, but it is ideal to have better trained and equipped experts respond when appropriate. Law enforcement can always make referrals and take a supporting role when necessary instead of acting beyond their scope.
Bill E Waybourn
6. POLICING IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR HAS BEEN AN ONGOING PUBLIC CONVERSATION. AS SHERIFF, WHAT POLICIES WILL YOU PROMOTE OR ELIMINATE?
Vance Keyes
As sheriff, I would address this issue head on. I would promote more inclusion of the public in the form of civilian oversight, transparency concerning policies and personnel, have a more diverse executive staff, be available for community forums, townhalls and other community-police relationship building efforts. I would eliminate the 287(g) agreement. It is a failed policy that in practice has no appreciable positive impact on crime. It only serves to divide the greater Tarrant Community. I recognize and support the importance of such movements as Black Lives Matter to bring more equity to the criminal justice system. Criminal justice is in need of reform and ideally it will happen with engagement between the community and law enforcement at all levels, but especially leaders at the top.
Bill E Waybourn
7. ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
Vance Keyes
I am running for Sheriff of Tarrant County because I believe public service must be better. Policing must be first be a public service. Confinement must first be a public service. We must wrap our heads around the concept that everything we do is in service of the public. I believe in fostering an environment conducive to public trust through safety empathy accountability and transparency, and fiscal responsibility. The administration of criminal justice has become a revolving door where the most vulnerable parties are reduced to victim and offender statistics. Public safety professionals have hundreds of thousands of successes and positive contacts every single day, but none of them excuse our failures. Warehousing low-level, non-violent people and those that suffer from substance abuse and/or mental illness should not be a goal of criminal justice. It certainly cannot be counted as a success. I am running for sheriff because Tarrant County deserves a sheriff that prioritizes public safety while understanding that criminal justice needs reforming. Enforcement action and arrests alone will never make communities safer. There must be buy in from the people we serve.
Bill E Waybourn