Rodney P. Ramsey has announced his candidacy in the Republican Primary for the office of Ellis County district attorney.

Ramsey was born in Waxahachie and has resided in Ellis County for more than 45 years. He is married to Becky and together they have nine children, four of whom still live at home. He has lived in the Red Oak area for the past eight years and has a law office in downtown Waxahachie on East Main Street.

Ramsey has more than 12 years experience in law enforcement during which time he worked as patrolman, patrol sergeant, detective and investigator. He received specialized training in the field of narcotics and was assigned as a task force officer to the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency, where he worked as an asset seizure analysis while employed for the city of Red Oak.

He attended the Baylor University Medical Center School of Radiologic Science from 1992-94, where he received his certificate in radiologic science and was licensed by the state in 1994 as a radiologic technologist. He continued his education and received his bachelor’s of science in radiologic science from Midwestern State University in December 1998. He worked in the field of radiology while attending law school at Texas Wesleyan School of Law.

He started law school at Texas Wesleyan in the fall of 2002 and completed his studies in December 2005. During his time in law school, he worked for two local attorneys as a legal assistant and received his third-year bar card his last year in school while working for the legal clinic. He also served as law clerk for Judge Bob Carroll during his last year of law school.

Ramsey said he attended law school with the intentions of coming back to Ellis County and “making a change for the better.” He said he decided to run for the office of county attorney after discussing it with several of the locals and attorneys. He feels that “it is time for a change in county government and county politics” and he said he is “hoping to help bring that long needed change to Ellis County.”

Ramsey said his platform rests upon the notion that “it is no longer enough to just be hard on crime, you must also be smart on crime.”

“We seem to have a few problems within the office of county attorney and I believe I can correct those problems,” he said. “We need new ideas and new leadership if we are going to change the old system.

“I intend to abolish the closed file system, which I believe to be outdated and ineffective. Most counties don’t even use this old system of secret information and secret files anymore,” he said. “Personally I don’t have any problem sharing the file with the defense attorney, especially in cases where the defendant is going to plead guilty in the end anyway. I just have a problem with closed files and the fact that this system is costing us money. It delays the plea discussions between the state and the defendant and really doesn’t accomplish anything other than wasting our tax dollars.

“I also intend to see that we reduce the number of plea bargains for sexual predators. We seem to have a growing problem with sex offenders in our county and I don’t understand why we plea some of these guys when we should be taking them to court. I most certainly don’t have a problem letting a jury decide how long a child molester or rapist has to serve in the Texas Department of Corrections,” he said.

“This business of allowing sex offender off with probation or, even worse, deferred probation, needs to be reviewed and changes made,” he said. “When a defendant receives deferred, there is no final conviction for the offense charged. That person, who may have just sexually abused a child or raped your neighbor, gets to say that they have no convictions for any crimes because of the deferred disposition. We will be prosecuting these offenders in an effort to protect our citizens. I want sexual predators to fear committing these crimes in Ellis County and they will.”

Ramsey said he also wants to focus on the drug problem in Ellis County.

“When a prior task force commander brought in a special team assisted by state and federal agencies to address our drug problem they reportedly purchased more drugs in larger quantities in a shorter period of time than anywhere they had gone before. How bad is that?” Ramsey said.

“Most people don’t know or recognize just how big of a drug problem we have in Ellis County and I’m not talking about the guy down the street who smokes marijuana or the small time crack dealer on the corner. We have people and organizations operating in and through our county who are moving unbelievable amounts of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine on a daily basis,” he said.

“I know of one case where undercover officers purchased over 4 pounds of black tar heroin from a drug dealer in Midlothian, and the drug dealer received probation. I believe that amount of heroin would receive an automatic life sentence in federal court, no questions asked,” Ramsey said. “Most officers go their entire careers never seeing an ounce of heroin, much less pounds of it, and we gave them probation. I have a plan to correct this problem by supporting a program of assistance from state and federal agencies. We can drive drug dealers out of our county.

“These are just a few of the issues that I have identified with our current system, there are more,” he said. “With your help, I believe I can make the office of county attorney more cost-effective while actively seeking justice on behalf of the crime victims. We need a change. We need to be tough and smart on crime. Vote for me and I will make that change.”