by Joycelyne Fadojutimi
Tim Bryan is clear on why he chose his life’s work. Serving the public good comes naturally to him, so he entered law enforcement, using it as a stepping stone to a legal career.
“I love helping people,” he says. “This is my community. I want to work to make it better any way that I can.”
The son of a Baptist preacher, Bryan and wife Tina have “only four-legged children,” Theirs is a serene, fulfilled life that started with his time as a law enforcement major at Tyler Junior College and cadet at the TJC Police Academy. While Tina runs a local restaurant, her selfless husband toils to insure Longview’s safety, security and blind justice. His older brother does the same as a campus police officer at the University of Texas.
He honed his skills by earning a master’s peace officer’s license from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and from pulling down multiple certifications in training disciplines relevant to criminal investigation and law enforcement-related topics. His pedigree is impressive and keeps getting better.
“After being a public servant in this county for more than 20 years I decided to run for office when Judge Arthur Fort announced he was retiring,” he says.
His new post is demanding.
He never knows when or where he will be needed. He may be called out at two in the morning because someone has passed away. During such incidents he often has to confer and coordinate with first responders and meet with loved ones of the deceased. Court hearings are called for such various matters as small claims, evictions or other cases under jurisdiction of the Justice Court. He may be called upon for Emergency Mental Health Detention Warrants that must be immediately signed, or for other deaths in which his immediate attention is required.
In some instances, he must see to student truancy or when persons unexpectedly call or walk into his office for reasons that cannot wait. Still, it is all to his liking.
“Life deals great tragedy sometimes. What might be something simple to me might be the worst experience another person has ever had,” he says. “Sometimes with a calm head and simple direction, problems can be mitigated.”
Sure enough, the gratitude he receives from those he has helped is a great reward in itself. “Like anyone in any business I have repeat customers,” he says. “They come to you because they trust you and know that even though the circumstances may be bad that they will be treated fairly.”
Still, it is not all fun and games. It saddens him to see good people beset by bad situations. Considering that it is inevitable that he will occasionally deal with personal acquaintances he has to concentrate on applying the law impartially without letting his own feeling make any difference. Another drawback is how he is often called away from home and loved ones.
“There have been many missed meals and holidays where I am absent due to work,” he says. “This profession is a sacrifice that my family deals with well.”
His dedication is a blessing to the state of Texas. A full 90% of all cases heard in Texas courts are on the municipal or justice court level. The ability to have fair justice that is easily available is a central tenant of effective, successful jurisprudence. Regardless of whether a case concerns truancy, eviction, acquiring an occupational license or other such routine but vital matters, people need and have a right to easy access to speedy and effective court proceedings.
Thanks to Tim Bryan the people in and around Longview can count on this crucial service, but for him it does not stop with the bench.
He works with Gregg County Crime stoppers, the Women Center of East Texas Fatality Review Team, Gregg County Bail Bond Board, the Veterans’ Recognition Foundation, and other organizations dedicated to public well-being. This outside-the-courtroom work has opened the door to advancing his public service.
“I strive to be available and active in many community events,” he says. “At first I did it because I wanted to be involved as an elected official in our community, but I have found that in doing so people feel free to call when they have a question or need something.”
Such care and integrity provide his office with the credibility it needs to insure the community can trust its elected officials to serve them faithfully, effectively and whenever needed.
“I never want to be the elected official you only see six months before the election,” he says. “I want to ensure that justice is served in our community, and we all work together to make sure Gregg County is a better place to live and raise a family.”