Some of Carol Twiss’ earliest memories were that she wanted to be a police officer.
Twiss said her late mother used to tell her that she was 3 years old when she first expressed a desire to become a police officer. Instead, Twiss would become a Kerr County Sheriff’s deputy — a job to which she’s dedicated her career.
Protecting the public has been her passion, one that carries over to her family as she’s helped raise nieces and nephews, but now she’s focused on the next phase of her career.
She’s now come full circle from a deputy to a captain for 14 years, but now Twiss is ready to assume the role of the county’s top law enforcement job and succeed her boss — Rusty Hierholzer — as the Kerr County Sheriff.
Twiss is the lone woman among the six candidates running for sheriff. She faces four other Republican candidates for the position. With nearly 30 years in the department, Twiss service and rank is equal, and greater in most cases, than those competing against her.
However, one of the big reasons Twiss is running for the Kerr County Sheriff position is continuity of management of the county’s jail.
“You need to know how to operate and manage a facility,” Twiss said. “The jail is your biggest budget item, and the biggest liability. If you don’t know how to run it properly you can get yourself into some big trouble.”
While her most recent efforts have been focused on investigations, Twiss’ career has included time as the jail administrator — a position she takes very seriously.
“The last thing we need are uncontrolled problems with our inmates and lawsuits that can get out of control, because we’re not operating the facility correctly,” Twiss said.
Currently, the jail is housing inmates from other parts of Texas — an initiative that Hierholzer has undertaken to help generate revenue to pay for the cost of running the facility. It’s a position that Twiss supports.
Twiss is also supportive of Hierholzer’s efforts to run the jail efficiently.
“I think our sheriff has done a tremendous job, but if he didn’t know what he knows those lawsuits that he gets they could become huge for the county,” Twiss said. “But because he knows his job we are able to get through those things without huge damage.”
When it comes to everyday crime in Kerr County, Twiss said drugs and fraud remain two of the biggest issues facing law enforcement. Twiss said that fraud is easy to perpetrate and sometimes difficult to investigate.
“It encompasses every type of abuse — forgery, credit card abuse, theft of mail, telephone scams,” Twiss said. “There’s a ton of fraud. It’s everywhere.”
If elected, Twiss said continuing to operate the department efficiently from the administrative side is important. Not only Hierholzer retiring after 20 years in the department, others will be retiring in the coming years, and Twiss said building that administrative staff is crucial.
In addition, Twiss said the department will also face challenges — like many law enforcement agencies do — in hiring and retaining deputies. That goes along with ongoing training, which she cites as one her biggest priorities, and upgrading technology to include in-vehicle computer systems to help patrol deputies better do their job in the field.