The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office in Shelby County has a new commanding officer. His name is Sgt. Bradley Synnott.
Sgt. Synnott has come to Shelby County with nine years of experience under his belt as a state trooper, and the Shelby County station is his third appointed position. He is now living in the area, and has moved with his wife, to whom he has been married for two years.
“It’s a job that is a one of a kind,” said Sgt. Synnott.
Just previous to coming to Shelby County, he was stationed in Humble in Harris County for just short of four years. Before his tenure in Humble he was in New Caney in Montgomery County where he was stationed for five years.
Synnott went to college in Mississippi, and although his initial intention while there was not to follow a career in law enforcement, once he made the decision he followed it all the way.
“I Majored in Criminal Justice. I started off as a political science major, and I just kind of lost interest with that. The initial 101 classes are kind of interesting, but the more you go into it, it just kind of lost its flair for me,” said Synnott. “When I was looking at an alternate major, criminal justice allowed me to keep a lot of the prerequisites that I already had. So, it wasn’t like I was going to lose a bunch of hours by switching over. I just felt there was more diversity in it, and a lot more options to it than just political science. It always was an interest to me, but I never knew for sure that I’d actually end up doing it. When I went off to college it wasn’t my goal to begin with, but I’ve always had an interest in it.”
Sgt. Synnott has now been in Shelby County since June 15, and has gotten acquainted with the staff of DPS State Troopers that he is now working with
“I can’t say a bad thing about them, they’re all good guys and they all want to go to work. The ones that are from here, want to stay here, so they know that they’ve got to keep their reputation. In a small town you’re kind of in that fishbowl, looked at a lot,” said Synnott. “Where I came from in Houston, I might not see that same person again my whole career, whereas they might see that person everyday up here. It’s a different mentality, and it’s not bad or good, it’s just you have to be cognisant of your image.”
With only five DPS troopers in the area, Sgt. Synnott realizes that there is a great need for there to be more support for the troopers in the area. Jasper DPS is currently handling the Sabine County area while the Shelby County unit awaits additional staff.
“We do have [another trooper] coming out of the academy that I haven’t met yet in person, but he is being assigned to Pineland. The Jasper duty station is going to train him, so we won’t get to have him in our area until he has gone through his initial six months training phase,” said Synnott. “Hopefully we can get this back up, and make it into a ten man station pretty soon.”
In dealing with emergency situations, it is very often necessary for DPS to assist, and be assisted by, other law enforcement agencies.
“Teamwork becomes a real big factor, you’ve got to be able to work well with others. I think that’s one of the traits that our department has, we are geared coming out of the academy knowing that we are not the only ones, and we’re sometimes going to have to rely on outside help.”
Sgt. Synnott looks for a good work ethic among the troopers that he works alongside, and he realizes that on any given day a schedule can be thrown off by unscheduled emergency events.
“I look for guys that go to work everyday, hard workers. You can’t control sometimes whether you’re going to have to work a wreck, or not. You have the intentions of coming out when you check in on duty, and go to work [Highway] 59 all day and you’ve got three wrecks waiting on you, it kind of messes up your day,” said Synnott. “When they come to work they put in a solid eight hours, or however long it takes for them to get everything that they have been tasked with for that day done. And to come to work with a good attitude and have respect for the job.”
Now that he is in Shelby County, Sgt. Synnott is looking forward to his time in the area
“I’m kind of ready to get away from the big city life for a while,” said Synnott. “I plan on staying here a while. I don’t like change, so it’s hard enough for me making that jump from being a trooper in Humble to coming up here. But I’d like to stay up here.”