I have been a proud member of the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office since 1994 and I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a special man, Sheriff Arnold Zwicke. Sheriff Zwicke and I met at the Police Academy in 1992. The following year, I went to work in Marion, and then later I joined the Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Department. I have worked both with and for Sheriff Zwicke for the past 25 plus years.
During this time, I have had the opportunity to work both with Sheriff Zwicke and his opponent. During those early days at the sheriff’s office there were many occasions where we, as deputies, ended up going to major and violent calls by ourselves. One particular call stands out where I was dispatched to a violent family disturbance where one of the parties had a knife. As I responded, I heard on the radio, Sheriff Zwicke respond that he was leaving an off duty job in order to back me up at the disturbance.
In 2004, the Guadalupe County Children’s Advocacy Center was formed, and Sheriff Zwicke was instrumental in helping the GCCAC get up and running, and has been one of its staunchest supporters. I can truthfully say without that, our job as investigators would have been much, much harder.
In addition to being a law enforcer, a sheriff has to wear many different hats, one of which is mentor. It is true that an agency models itself on its head. Sheriff Zwicke has held himself, and us, to the highest ethical standards. Sheriff Zwicke has been spoken about to me by other agencies as an exceptionally ethical and moral sheriff, which leads us to try and always do the right thing. Sometimes doing the right thing is hard, but as he has told me repeatedly over the years; “Just do the right, moral and ethical thing, and no one can fault you”.
At times of hardship or extreme stress, the sheriff takes care of his people. When I was involved in a shooting incident in 1997, one of the first phone calls I received was from Sheriff Zwicke who wanted to check on me, and see if I needed anything. I can tell you that meant a lot. I have personally seen Sheriff Zwicke help out people with his own cash when deputies were in need. He also supports community events with his own personal money such as when my daughter and her FCCLA group went to Nationals in California, he gave them a donation.
A sheriff also has to be a budget manager, and not go for the quick popular Facebook “look at what I am going to do.” He is responsible to the taxpayers to make sure that their hard earned dollars are well and wisely spent. Telling people during campaigns “I am going to do this, or I am going to do that”, is not the same as being fiscally responsible for the taxpayers money. I can truthfully say in my years here under Sheriff Zwicke, we have never gone without items that we really needed.
I have often asked myself: ‘If I was going into a dark house in the middle of the night where there was an armed criminal, who would I want with me?’ My answer is Sheriff Arnold Zwicke. Why? Because, I have been there with him multiple times over the years.