The WD recently sent questionnaires to the candidates in contested county races in the March 4 primary elections. The candidates were asked to provide background information and answers, in 300 words or less, to questions posed to them. Early voting begins Feb. 18. Today we look at the four Republican primary candidates for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3. There is no Democratic opponent.
Name: Dusty Vinson
Occupation: senior criminal investigator, Parker County District Attorney’s Office.
Family: Married to wife, Julie; four grown boys.
Educational background: Tarrant County College, Howard Payne University. State-certified police instructor, drug lab certified, marine safety officer, and master peace officer certification with more than 1,200 hours of continuing education.
Professional affiliations: Texas District and County Attorneys Association; Howard Payne Alumni Association; National Rifle Association.
Community involvement: Freedom House Board of Directors; member of the First Baptist Church of Dennis. I have been involved in this community through local law enforcement since 1992.
What will be your top three priorities if elected justice of the peace and what steps will you take to achieve those goals?
To continue the tradition of providing the citizens of Precinct 3 with a court that maintains the highest standard of professionalism, thoroughness and efficiency. A fair forum where the citizens of this county can rectify their differences knowing everyone will be treated equally. And I will continue to foster the relationships I’ve had the pleasure of developing throughout the years with county officials and local department heads in order to maintain a productive and positive working environment.
How can court efficiency or other areas of court operations be improved and what are your plans to do so if elected?
Judge Merkley is a fantastic judge and has assembled a great staff. As a newly elected judge it will be my responsibility to run the office as efficiently as possible. One thing I would implement is employee cross training. Each employee’s job description and duties are somewhat different, I believe the employees need to be trained to perform all duties within the office in order to provide a better service to the citizens. I would also seek input from the current office personnel regarding suggestions they feel could improve the office.
Why are you the best candidate for the position?
I believe I have the most experience and I know I will work the hardest. This job requires dedication, an in depth knowledge of the law and the ability to manage an office. I’ve spent many years as a supervisor and have experience in training, budgets and all aspects of law enforcement and administration.
The Justice of the Peace handles criminal and civil trials, seized property hearings, search and arrest warrants, traffic court, truancy, evictions and dangerous animal issues. I have spent over 21 years dealing with those issues right here in Parker County. Also spending the last eight years working for the felony prosecutors office has given me invaluable experience into the inner workings of the court system.