Garza with Kingsville task force

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Education is very important to Constable candidate Jaime R. Garza.

Whether it's providing information to a resident while on duty, or supporting the efforts of drug prevention throughout the Ben Bolt community, his focus is always on informing others, and in the process, changing lives for the better.

"Providing education to others is very important. I have a background with connecting with the public. I know what the community needs. It starts with accountability and family values. That's at the core. It's about caring, and it's also about doing and showing, not just talking," Garza said.

Originally from Alice, Garza, his wife Maria and their three children moved to Ben Bolt in 1988. Maria Garza is a teacher at Ben Bolt High School and Garza, who works for the Kingsville Special Crimes and Narcotics Taskforce, spends a lot of time performing community outreach and drug prevention programs for Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD and neighboring school districts. He was also a member of the district Drug Policy Committee last year.

Garza said he is in total support of the work of the local Crime Stoppers program, and acknowledges that the key is a proactive approach to crime, which he wants to instill in the office of Pct. 6 Constable if elected.

"I want to build back community trust in the position of constable," Garza said. "There needs to be accountability in place, a kind of reporting system, for taking case numbers and reports. I want to be available to the public. As a constable you are 24/7. My whole career has been involved with public service."

Garza served as a reserve officer from 1982 to 1986 and a certified reserve police officer since 1989. He has served in the area as a certified full-time peace officer since 1989. His current position is as an officer on the Kingsville Special Crimes and Narcotics Taskforce. Because of of this work, Garza has experience when it comes to providing statistical information, working with reporting systems and staying current on the latest criminal and legal issues, all aspects of law enforcement he wants to incorporate into the constable's office to better serve the public.

As far as local crime and drug prevention issues, Garza said he has experience in creating these types of programs and would like to see them put to use for Precinct 6.

"I can bring local programs here, because I've created programs in the past. I can assure you, that those programs grow with increased participation. You have to get the people motivated to do things like that, because they're doing it for themselves. What's important to me is not winning, it's being able to provide a safe environment for everybody," Garza said.

He said there is a serious drug problem here. Not just in one area, but spread out everywhere. He said the young people are the future, and the community needs to do more to help and protect them.

"The schools are very important, and truancy is becoming a very big problem, and it needs to be hit head on. It's vitally important that parents have to realize that there is a problem there. Those issues have to be addressed," Garza said.

"Time and time again I've proven this. I'm a working man. I'm not going to be out there and try to be a cowboy with a big hat getting up and talking BS. If I get out there as constable, I'm there to work, I'm there to help. It's not just their problem, it's our problem," Garza said.