GEORGETOWN, Texas - Employees at the Williamson County Sheriff's office were back at work Wednesday, but change was already in the air. It came Tuesday night at the watch party for Sheriff-elect Mike Gleason.
When FOX7 spoke to him, Gleason put the current command staff on notice. He also indicated that the SWAT team would undergo a major overhaul and a couple of deputies would also soon be out of work. He declined to provide names.
“It’s still Christmas we’ve got until January 1, I don’t wanna ruin anyone’s holiday, but I will tell you something, they know it, they know who they are," said Gleason.
On the town square in Georgetown Wednesday, those who spoke to FOX7 were not interested in tough talk but healing. “I’d like to see more honesty and all of the ugliness needs to go away because it’s uncalled for,” said Sharon Smith.
The advice for the incoming sheriff from Stephanie McCafferty was simple. “Be the sheriff, take politics out of this, grudges and anything, and just if they will just do their job,” she said.
Gleason has been in law enforcement for a little more than two decades with most of it at the Williamson County Sheriff’s office. His key job assignments include assistant chief deputy over corrections, commander of patrol services, headquarters administration, and internal affairs.
He told FOX7 that with his new job, he is bringing a new emphasis on training.
Nothing has changed about law enforcement, everything that’s changed is how it’s been introduced. De-escalation techniques, mental health, all those things, it’s the way of the future and nobody wants to get on board because it doesn’t make for good TV so it goes out the window,” said Gleason.
The handling of undocumented immigrants in county jails is a hot topic, especially for Democrats. Gleason said he will comply with the state law that requires him to honor holds issued by federal officials.
“If they ask us for an ICE detainer, we put the ICE detainer on them. If they don’t come in with the required 72 hours they’re supposed to, that individual is cut loose, that’s ICE's problem not mine,” said Gleason.
A problem Gleason says that he inherited is a problem requiring immediate attention. He believes the relationship the sheriff's office has with several local police departments is strained. Fixing that according to Gleason will be a top priority for him and his new command staff.