Olney Code Compliance Officer: Dustin Hudson
Dustin Hudson was hired as the Olney Code compliance officer Dec. 10. He was appointed Fire Marshall at the city council meeting Monday, Jan. 28.
Hudson grew up in Buda—once considered a small agriculturally-based town of approximately 3,000 people, where everyone knew one another. Like Olney, Hudson said in the 90s, Buda was a place where you drove around with your hand raised in a permanent wave because you were waving at everyone. Then, the population grew to 20,000, which inspired Hudson to move to Olney to get back to that small community environment.
Hudson comes from a family of servicemen and women. His father is a police officer, and his mother was a volunteer EMT. Hudson’s expansive career includes certified firefighter, fire inspector, fire investigator, EMT-B, swift water rescue instructor and has raised bucking bulls.
While in his role as, code compliance officer, Hudson will be attending the police academy in February to serve when needed. He also has a passion for working with children which is why he applied for the school resource officer position that is still an option Hudson stated.
Employed as the captain in the fire service over public relations, Hudson assisted with public education. He said, “If you can educate your public and educate your community, you’re all better,” Hudson said. He was also part of a community program called “Fireman is Always Your Friend” where they taught that firemen love hugs. To teach kids that no matter what firemen look like to never be afraid of them.
“If I can take my experience and knowledge of public relations in fire services and apply it [to my role as a] police officer; [and use my] experience in fire service and [my work] with our police, fire and EMS [departments], our school district and our communities—and apply that public relations and public education [experience], there’s nothing but good things that can come from it,” Hudson said.
Hudson and his wife of 18 years were married in high school and moved to Olney in 2013 with their three sons. The oldest son, Travis, is a fireman in Cleburne. The couple’s middle son,Tanner, is an Olney High School (OHS) junior who wants to become a police canine trainer after graduation. The youngest son, Tucker is an OHS Sophmore. Hudson and his wife are also foster parents.
“It is the most humbling and heartbreaking thing I have ever done in life,” Hudson said about being a foster parent. “You get used them being a part of your family. They come in, and you love them like they are yours. Then they go. But it is also very rewarding and the biggest blessing to be able to provide a safe and positive environment even if just a brief time.”
“I want to be a positive law enforcement influence for children,” Hudson said. “Because society has made cops into the bad guys. Every law enforcement involved shooting is no longer that cops did the right thing. The suspect is frequently the victim, and the cops are in the wrong, right off the bat.”
Since coming on board as the code compliance officer, Hudson has changed some of the protocols. Instead of coming with the iron fist of the law, he intends to approach people positively. Rather than sending a violation on the outset, he will be sending out courtesy letters to let the people know that they are out of compliance and that they have 10 days to take care of it before he will take further action. He will give people a chance to contact him, so he can explain how they are in violation.
Hudson understands that there are people that may not have the physical ability to mow their grass. “With all the rain this year, I am surprised that I must send out mow-your-grass letters in January,” he said. “I [realize] that everything is still wet, but that is where the courtesy letter gives me some flexibility. This way people know when the ground is dry, they need to mow.”
Hudson shared that if people were willing to work with him, he was willing to work with them. He firmly believes that people need to help one another, but he understands that someone must be the first one to reach out. Hudson explained, “I am a firm believer in approaching people the right way.
While expressing his views about the Olney community and city government, Hudson explained, “Our community, city hall, city manager and we as city employees need to be kind of the forefront. We need to start pulling our community together and start community outreach programs to help the elderly, disabled and low-income people. We’ve got to help each other, or we are doomed. “So far it has been a positive outcome,” Hudson finished. “I think with certain people like [Chief] Conny Clay, [City Administrator] Neal Welch and myself coming on board, there is going to be a positive influence and a positive community structure.”