Former Police Chief Candidate Endorses Travis Griffith


OPINION — Generally, I'm not a fan on endorsement letters. Not because I don't think they're effective or meaningful, it's because most of the people who write them don't truly know the person they're writing the endorsement for.

I hold to the belief that if you've never worked with someone, for someone, or had them work for you, then you don't really know who they are as an employee or as an officer. I've worked with Travis Griffith since the day he was hired. When he was doing his probationary period with Officer Pullin we worked the same district. Once he was on his own, we worked together for many years on Patrol. 

After I was promoted to Lieutenant, Travis was assigned to me as one of my sergeants. It's safe to say I know him as a police officer and know the caliber of man he is behind the badge. This is the man I know and why I know he is the right choice for Chief of Police. 

I have never known Travis to have a cruel word for or about anyone. He has consistently treated everyone he has come across with respect. Unlike another candidate, I've never heard of Travis screaming at multiple civilian clerks at the department, bringing them to tears and making them want to quit. While I don't always share the same ideas as Travis, there has never been any animosity between us regarding our differences of opinion. 

Travis doesn't wear a mask. The man you see at work and on the campaign trail is the man he really is. There's no falsehood about him. He doesn't pretend to be someone he's not to get your vote. That level of genuineness is incredibly rare. This is a basic leadership principle and not one seen very often in our department.

In a previous interview from when I was a candidate, I mentioned officers buying citizens in need groceries and going well beyond what is required of them. Travis is one of those officers. I've personally seen him do it. You'll never hear this from Travis though. 

Travis doesn't have an out-of-control ego. He knows that everything we do as police officers is done as a team. I've seen ego drag good officers down. Pride is the original sin. Travis is a lot of things, prideful is not one of them.

When Travis promoted to sergeant and assigned to me, he took care of not only the officers under his supervision, but any officer on duty that needed his assistance in any way he could. He didn't stand around when there was work to do. He'd knuckle down and get the mission accomplished side by side with his officers. Other people say they're working; I'm not sure that word means what they think it means (that's right, I quoted Princess Bride).

Let me emphasize he genuinely cares for his officers. I've had supervisors who saw their officers as a means to an end and treated them like that. Travis isn't that supervisor. 

For example, I've seen him praying with his officers in a parking lot after hard calls to bring a moment of peace. He embodies servant leadership. Travis was a founding Sergeant for the current Anti-Crime Unit. ACU is like the old SOS, only much more effective because under Travis's command it was run as something more than a political "Chiefs Special Squad".

Are years of experience important? In some ways it can be. Experience gained by doing the work and doing it right I would consider good. Just doing something a long time doesn't mean you're good at it. I've seen long-time employees in every career field I've worked be absolutely useless. Travis has been in law enforcement over 20 years. In all the years I've worked with him he's been doing it right and has not just experience, but quality experience. 

Here's a little secret; The only difference between a Lieutenant and a Sergeant is the amount of paperwork and the number of officers assigned to you, that's it. There's no magical "level of increased knowledge" when you slap on a pair of butter bars.

I've seen Travis come up with solutions to problems well outside the box. His solutions worked time and again on the street and brought peaceful resolutions to violent scenarios. 

I am well aware of the tactics being used against Travis as a candidate. This is a small department and a small city. Word gets out. Those words are going to be made public. Nothing said in secret fails to come to light. San Angelo, you have a choice ahead of you on election day. You can have the status quo "good ol' boy system" where nothing will change, or you have a chance to make things better for the citizens, the officers, and the city at large.

In the past we've had candidates who were elected with visions and mission statements that were never implemented. This is the first election I've seen where there's a chance to affect actual change. On June 15, I'll be casting my ballot to make the San Angelo Police Department stronger for our city by voting for Travis Griffith.

Lt. Christopher Cimino
San Angelo Police Department
Former 2024 Police Chief Candidate

Former 2024 police chief candidate and current lieutenant in the San Angelo Police Department Lt. Chris Cimino.

Former 2024 police chief candidate and current lieutenant in the San Angelo Police Department Lt. Chris Cimino.

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Well, he's only the best candidate from an ontological standpoint. Public opinion holds a mighty sway, and ontology is rarely a consideration in politics!

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