Nearly a year ago, I heard that Harris County Precinct 3 Constable Ken Jones was retiring. I had no idea how long he had been in office, but I was 32 years old and could not remember a time when he was not the Constable. I knew that his replacement could also hold power in our community for a long time, so it was essential to choose the best candidate. Within weeks, several people announced their intention to take his place
With an open mind, I began my research. I added some of them on facebook, I attended events with others, and I met many of them in person.
I liked most of the candidates and felt that most of them would do a decent job. They spoke of their backgrounds, qualifications, and titles, all of which sounded impressive to me. As impressive as they were, however, none of them had anything that separated them from the rest, until I met Michel Pappillion.
Pappillion was different because he began his speech by talking about how there has been a breakdown in trust between police officers and the community and the police have a duty to win that trust back. He advocated a community-oriented policing model that would build ties between law enforcement and the community. He described an idea of police officers getting to know people in a neighborhood, attending community events, and taking a moment to shoot some hoops with neighborhood kids when they have free time.
This approach to policing won me over. I spend a lot of time working with young people in our area and I often hear people complain that they are disrespected by the police. I, myself, attended a high school in this area where precinct 3 constables patrolled the hallways, treated the students like prisoners, and instilled fear in people who dared to be out of dress code. Instead of building trust between police and the community, they were doing nothing more than strengthening the school to prison pipeline. I welcome a new approach that will work to create trust between law enforcement and the community and because of that I would proudly encourage all of my friends to vote for Michel Pappillion for Harris County Precinct 3 Constable.