Days after an inmate in the Tarrant County jail gave birth to a child while alone in her cell, the jail lost its state certification. The incident was after State investigators concluded that jail employees failed to conduct required observation checks and an inmate committed suicide while in custody.
Surprised that the nation’s 15th largest county had lost a state jail certification? Tarrant County Commissioners were too when they learned about the loss of certification from news reports instead of from Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn.
Unfortunately, Waybourn’s gross mismanagement of the Tarrant County jail is no surprise. Waybourn was elected Sheriff in 2016 and has regularly been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Once, he even shot himself after failing to properly clear the chamber in a handgun – while conducting training for concealed carry licensing.
From negligent oversight of the county jail to a national outcry after racially insensitive remarks made at the Trump White House, Waybourn has turned Tarrant County’s law enforcement division into a taxpayer-funded political operation focused on divisive, racially-charged ideological issues instead of keeping Tarrant County residents safe.
Waybourn Embarrasses Tarrant County
Last year, Waybourn went to the White House to discuss immigration issues with administration officials. He could have used the trip to push for more resources for Tarrant county and to talk about local concerns. Instead, he made national headlines by saying undocumented immigrants released from jail were “drunks” and would “run over your children”. Waybourn turned an opportunity to promote and help the citizens of Tarrant County into an ugly effort to promote himself politically – coming off as an incompetent blow hard.
Waybourn Brings Trump’s Failed, Divisive style, And No Substance
As the nation comes together to address police reform and long-standing racial tensions, Waybourn is still pushing Donald Trump’s divisive agenda onto people of color. Waybourn is calling on the Tarrant County Commissioners Court to approve reauthorization of Donald Trump’s notorious 287g policy – which forces local law enforcement officers to act as federal immigration officials. Waybourn wants to use Tarrant County employees paid with Tarrant County taxpayer funds to help Trump vilify Latino residents of Tarrant County under the guise of “identifying deportable aliens”. Trump’s 287g policy has been a failure nationwide and has come under harsh criticism for lack of oversight and mismanagement.
A New Sheriff in Town?
Recently, Bill Waybourn was called before the Tarrant County Commissioners Court to explain his failure to competently and safely run the Tarrant County jail. And just yesterday, a Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial further criticized Waybourns’ stubborn intention to engage in federal immigration enforcement, and made the clear point that “…Waybourn runs countywide, and Tarrant is increasingly up for grabs.”
Bill Waybourn is being challenged for re-election by experienced and respected former Fort Worth Police Officer and US Marine Corps veteran Vance Keyes. Vance Keyes brings a lifetime of public service in the military and in professional law enforcement to his campaign for Tarrant County Sheriff. Keyes gives Tarrant County voters the opportunity to put a capable, professional law enforcement professional back in charge of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s office and unload the divisive, bumbling, and dangerous incompetence of Bill Waybourn.
Today, several Tarrant County leaders including Congressman Marc Veasey, State Senator Beverly Powell, and State Representatives Ramon Romero, Nicole Collier, and Chris Turner formally endorsed Vance Keyes for County Sheriff saying,
“Vance understands the job of Sheriff should not be political. We trust Vance to keep an ideologically driven, national political agenda out of the Sheriff’s Department and focus the Department on protecting Tarrant County families of all backgrounds.”
Tarrant County voters, regardless of party, have valued elected officials with honesty, integrity, and a commitment to serve honorably. Bill Waybourn is a bad fit, and Tarrant County is suffering for it. Vance Keyes brings the background, personal character and respect for public service that is much more consistent with the type of leader mainstream Tarrant County residents expect from their elected officials.