orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

March 30, 2013

Merritt in perfect position to help others

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt enjoys helping people.

Merritt’s ability to communicate with others has been an asset as sheriff.

“Many times by the time they call me, they have run into closed doors,” Merritt said. “They just need someone to talk to and explain why.”

Merritt said being sheriff helps give him the resources, manpower and ability to help more people.

Merritt said he is not looking to leave a big legacy as far as his name goes.

“I just want to do the best I can while I am on this earth,” Merritt said. “The next sheriff will pick up where I left off when that time comes.”

Merritt also said he loved being constable.

“I did not think it would get any better until I was sheriff,” Merritt said.

Merritt also said a smart person is surrounded by smart people.

“It is not just me, it is the people who work for me,” Merritt said.

Merritt was not known for looking back until a captain listed all the accomplishments of the department during the first four years of Merritt’s term.

“Looking back to move forward was rewarding,” Merritt said.

Merritt enjoys spending time on the water when he is not working.

“It does not matter if I am fishing, or on a boat,” Merritt said. “Sometimes just sitting and looking out over the water is all it takes. Just being around water is peaceful.”

Merritt said that law enforcement is not a job but a profession.

“The term to protect and to serve says it all,” Merritt said. “It is what Orange County deserves.”

The LAPD formed a contest to give its Police Academy a motto in 1955. Officer Joseph S. Dorobek submitted the winning entry, "To Protect and to Serve."