On January 10, 2023, in Lufkin, Texas, Angelina County held its first Republican party meeting of the year at 6:00 PM, at Fairview Baptist Church in which Acting Sheriff and Chief Deputy Mark Mclin was the featured speaker at last night’s meeting and also took questions from those in attendance.
Mclin has served the community of Angelina County for 24 years as a member of law enforcement. Prior to this, he was an insurance salesman, then manager of a furniture store for 7 years. He joined the police academy while managing the store and got his TCOLE license in 1999. He also supervised the criminal investigation division and worked narcotics.
Some things that were mentioned was the lack of manpower in law enforcement, and overcrowded jails. There is a small number of jailers with convicts who have COVID and 80% of the prisoners are waiting for a trial. There has already been 13 million dollars pledged toward building a 13,000 square foot addition to the jail with 126 beds, but it will be approximately 2 years before it is able to be completed and utilized. Mclin also mentioned the new cadet program, in which every 3 years, $1,500 will be added to salary up to 18 years. It is set up to hire people off the street, go through background checks and pay them to go to the police academy, with the contract being a two-year commitment to the training.
When asked about how to slow crime rates down, Mclin simply stated, “With the climate in this nation, how officers are portrayed, it’s harder now to hire anyone for the job.” He says that having more boots on the ground, acting efficiently, and proactive policework, which is patrolling through neighborhoods, watching traffic. If shorthanded, all the officers can do is respond to calls, making it harder to patrol crime.
Mclin continued by stating that the job can be nerve-wrecking because you never know what the next call is going to be, or what’s going to happen next. Someone could have firearms, there could be family bickering and split-second decisions have to be made constantly. One could go to jail, be fired, or be sued if a wrong decision is made–like killing a resident in an accident during a shootout, or running over a civilian in the middle of a pursuit.
Being a member of law enforcement requires intuition, Mclin believes.
“Like on a traffic stop, you might have to look for more criminal activity. Someone could be lying. You have to look for signs, signs of suspicion.”
Mclin believes the key to performing such a duty as serving on law enforcement is staying calm, one also has to have the ability to communicate with people and seek to de-escalate any problems. Mclin said that he would suggest to anyone seeking to serve, that they come out and do a couple of ride-alongs with officers.
His last point was that there are a majority of cops that are in it for a good and pure purpose, and that every sect has a bad apple. But the community as a whole has the power to change the atmosphere, and weed out the poison that affects us.