Interview with the stars of "Big Texas Heat" on CMT - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

the stars of "Big Texas Heat' on CMT

Interview with the stars of "Big Texas Heat" on CMT 11/7/12

November 7, 2012

Moderator This question is for each of you. If you could just tell us how you guys got approached for the show and what about your department and what about Trinity makes the show so interesting?

Officer Givens Well, for me what makes it interesting is that itís a small town with great people, and me coming from a large city over five million people plus and get the opportunity to show our characteristics and who we are outside of the uniform as well as inside the uniform is a big plus. It lets the community expressópeople outside of the community know who we are and what we do, and lets them know that we are a bunch of fun guys and we are people, we are human, and we all have feelings just as well as they do. We all deal with the same types of issues they deal with, and I think itís great. I think itís a calmer side and itís going to be a good side theyíre going to see with each of these officers.

Moderator How about for Chief Jones and also for Officer Morales?

Officer Morales First I would like to say I had fun doing the show. As far as how I was approached with the show, I hung around the police department for a while getting to know all the guys and stuff so I was here since the beginning, and ever since then Iíve been pretty excited about it and I was onboard 100% of the time. I was just anxious to get started with it, and then while we were doing it CMT man, they just made it very, very easy for us for us to just enjoy it.

Chief Jones I was approached by a lot of people- Sergeant Wheeler and a gentleman by the name of Chris Gordon who I guess you call him a business entrepreneur, Sergeant Wheeler was friends with Chris Gordon and they had a conversation about how much fun Wheeler has working here and how working for a small city and the community and everything he loved here. Well, when they got to talking Chris said, ďWell, put a little video together for me and send it to me.Ē Sergeant Wheeler got my permission and said, ďCan I film everybody Chief and can we do this?Ē I said, ďYeah letís do it.Ē

Naturally that was a little over 2.5 years ago and I never thought that it would end up doing this. That would have been the initial approach right there, and I mean it was within a couple of months I think that there was actually a small professional team come back and did a little bit more video of us, and then another team came. When they said, ďMan, this is really going to happen,Ē it really was hard to believe that.

Officer Morales I just want to add in because I know the person that had the question was asking what makes Trinity awesome or different than anywhere else. Most of the nation is more city than it is rural and being here itís quiet, itís peaceful and not a whole lot of people get the opportunity to see what itís like on the country side.

Anyway, what I was saying is when I got the opportunity to leave the city and come here I actually get to sit on a lake and drink my coffee, and I enjoy it. I think itís awesome just because the fact that thereís a lot of trees here and itís just quiet and peaceful, and thereís a lot of people out there that just enjoy their time out here and just like being out here.

Moderator Could you tell us what social media has done to help you with the show and also just in your department?

Chief Jones Once we started the Trinity Police Department Facebook page I really had a hard time with it because I got a lot of bad talk about it. People were complaining and they didnít like it and the police department shouldnít be on social media because weíre supposed to be this and supposed to be that. Once it got going then I realized that the opinion changed from negative to positive.

The majority of the people that were positive about it started coming out and saying, ďHey we want this. We want this in our community. I want to know what the guy looks like thatís been breaking in to houses or stealing stuff or I want to know what the guy looks like that has drugs or doing drugs.Ē

The way the social media has worked out for us I think the show is going to work out in the same manner. The social media showed our community a little bit of the inside of our department. Still not any of the clowning or some of the fun that we actually have up here but the show is going to show theóthe show is going to go even deeper in to what it really is like at the Trinity Police Department and how much our officers really do work and how much we really do care about our city and our community.

Moderator Officer Morales, what is it like being the rookie for you? What is the interaction like coming in to a department like that?

Officer Morales Itís fun. Itís hilarious. I didnít know coming in to law enforcement would actually be this fun being on the light side of it, and even though I put up with a lot I know Iím not the first officer to go through it, and I know Iím not going to be the last. I still say that Iím learning a lot from it and working with Chief Jones itís only going to make me make that one mistake one time.

Moderator How long have all the officers been with the department?

Officer Givens Iíve been with the departmentóApril of next year 2013 will be a total of three years Iíve been with the department.

Officer Morales I graduated December 2010 and have been an officer ever since.

Chief Jones February 2003 I became the Sergeant but in 2007 our Sherriff for our county had to leave office and I filled in for two years for the unexpired term as the Sherriff of Trinity County. Then when I was through with that the Chief position came up in Trinity and I took that Chief position in the last part of 2008.

Moderator And who has been the longest on the staff?

Chief Jones I have.

Moderator What advice would you give to people that want to go in to law enforcement?

Officer Givens The advice I would give to anyone is to make sure thatís something that definitely you want to do. Itís a dangerous job but at the same time you go in for the right reasons. My reason for going in is I like people. I like dealing with people. Just to make the community safe is what I likeóthings around me and people around me so just make sure thatís something you want to do and you be passionate about people and passionate about making the people around you safe.

Officer Morales My advice to them would be donít forget youíre human and thatís one thing I believe. I want to put that message out there as far as the show goes. Weíve got to show the lighter side of law enforcement. Itís not all stone face like Chief Jones had mentioned previously. Weíve got to lighten up. You canít take this job 100% serious 24/7. You have to be aware of your surroundings but then again you have to cut loose and you have to know when to take that badge off and when to put it on.

Chief Jones Iíve had some nephews that are in the military right now and theyíve asked me that same question. What Iíd say is one thing is education or military service. Get you a degree, get a degree in criminal justice and spend that time in college and educate yourself or go in to the military and get you some military time, and go to work for an agency that is going to be able to provide you something.

I donít have either and I regret that; however, Iíve had to fight and struggle. Iím proud that I was appointed Sherriff of the County and Iím proud that I was appointed as Chief, but it was a lot of fighting and a lot of struggling over the years that Iíve had to do to accomplish that, and it would have been a lot easier on me if I would have had a better education or Iíd had some kind of military experience.

Moderator I see that you do a lot of practical jokes on each other. Is there a certain person that you pick on or is it anybodyís up for grabs on that.

Officer Morales One thing that Iíve learned being here with these guys is theyíre going to get whoever is open. Whatever they can catch that practical joke is going to go on that person.

Chief Jones I have to agree with Morales there. Itís kind of if you leave yourself open there and somebody finds a nicheóand it might not be physical or something but it can be something just to mess with your head. Case in point, last night was Rookie Morales. We went to watch the elections and we had some uncontested people that natural people still vote for them, and Morales is standing there and I heard that our district attorney who is going to now be our district attorney was uncontested, and I hear Morales. He didnít really pay attention to the board and he said, ďMan, it looks bad for Benny. This Lindy woman is going to beat him.Ē Well, Lindy sheís the County Clerk. She was also uncontested and he wasnít paying attention. I said, ďMorales, you need to run tell Benny right now itís not looking good for him. Itís not really looking good for him at all.Ē So there was a joke in that. He ran over there eager beaver to tell Benny that and then Benny got a laugh out of it. Itís just if you leave yourself open then weíre going to have a little bit of fun with you.

Officer Givens I feel like exactly they all said. We all get our fair share of getting picked on, the way we talk, the way we walk, the way we look, the way we dress. Itís all in fun. Sometimes you get a little frustrated sometimes just by the way you get picked on but at the same time itís all in fun and we know that each on of us do care about each other a great deal. I love it. I love the camaraderie that we all have with one another.

Chief Jones One of the other things Iíll say is youíre going to see that we pick on ourselves and thereís a closeness to that but that way we know itís us. When weíre out there in the public weíre unified. We know that this is a guy that I can have some fun with, but when I need him heís going to be there. Itís a great feeling.

Officer Morales And it made the show extremely exciting.

Moderator This is for you Officer Givens. How did you come to be Big Sexy?

Officer Givens Well, it initially cameóit wasnít necessarily the Big Sexy name but like in high school and back in the 80s I had the thought that Iíll pose and do better poses than one of my high school football coaches, and I was kind of buff. Iím sexier now than I was then but I got in to a couple poses down and who was in the class and I did take his class.

I asked the class and he asked the class to challenge each other so we went to this weight room downstairs in the gymnasium and we let the class pick who had the best poses, and the winner would be called Mr. Body or whatever, something corny or something of that sort, but I won of course. I made the class a little bias. When I went off to college and played ball and things such as that I took the name from the body and it just called it Big Sexy because I gained weight a little bit and I just took the name. Body just became called Big Sexy so from Big Sexy from college.

Then I went to the police academy. When I get to commitment speech my commander at the police academy announced me as Big Sexy so Iíve just been Big Sexy since and thatís what I carry on and some people in the community of Trinity call me Big Sexy instead of Officer Givens so I take pride in that name. It carries me well. Iím cute. Iím good looking and Iím big and sexy.

Chief Jones Actually, up here in Trinity in the winter time heís called Big Sexy. In the summer time heís Big Sweaty.

Officer Morales Hey, Big Sexy donít forget you may be Big Sexy but I am more sexy.

Moderator Wow. So thereís a competition over there.

Officer Givens Thereís no competition.

Officer Morales There is no competition. He already knows.

Moderator With this being a reality TV show the act of having a camera follow you around if pretty un-natural. How did that affect the way you performed and the way you went about doing things?

Chief Jones Iíll tell you within maybe the first three days it was very awkward but after that it became just natural. Since we are a small community and everybody kind of knows about it, it became real natural to them too. They started to get more and more comfortable with it to where you forgot they were even there. I think thatís one of the things thatís going to be great for the show is the show may start off a little bit stiff necked but when you get down to the tenth episode we were real comfortable about the cameras and we really became ourselves closer to the end of the series.

But Iíll tell you it was very uncomfortable and it was awkward to sit there and in my office they had cameras pointing down at myóthere was two cameras pointing at my desk at all time, and youíre real conscious of everything you do and every move you make. But after a while you forgot those cameras were even there. You just went on about your natural daily day.

Officer Morales I agree with Chief about forgetting about the cameras. However, I never forgot about them. I was always trying to be a camera hog and kind of step in there even if I was in the background because I like being looked at. But having the cameras, especially they were here a little over 2.5 months plus Iím telling you that Ö couldnít have sent a better production crew. The camera guys, the sound guys, the PAs, the producers all those guys they became really part of us and they became a great group of friends. Weíre in contact with them now. We have our moments with them. Weíre texting them. They text back with us even though some of them are out in California or wherever they live, but weíve created a lot of really great friends, and with them sending a great crew like that it really helped us to be more natural and more who we really are.

Officer Givens Well, like Chief said the crew was the most important factor in this with me and I think with everyone. If we didnít have the crew that we had or the production company that CMT sent out it probably would have been a little bit traumatic and a little bit more intense than it was but the guys we had that came down it made it very, very comfortable for us. It was a natural deal, natural reaction for us. They laughed. They talked. It wasnít really stone face with us. It made it a very good, comfortable situation. I had a lot of fun with it. A lot of times I didnít even know about the camera. Sometimes it was just a reaction that you justóit was a normal thing that they say or that you do so it was great for me and I hope the other guys feel the same.

Moderator What was your favorite and least favorite part of filming since it was a reality show with cameras all the time?

Officer Morales Of course, Iím going to have mine first. My least favorite was probably when I hurt myself; yeah that wasnít too good. Going through surgery that was the first time Iíd actually been through surgery in my life, and it was scary for me. It was scary for me because I didnít know what was taking place and I didnít know how this was all going to end, but fortunately it ended up being all right. As far as the most favorite time that Iíve had here would probably be just getting to know all the guys and getting to know the crew and grow in our family here at the Police Department.

Officer Givens II donít know if the guys agree but I think filming a reality show pretty much in hindsight brought us as a group closer than we were. We know each otherís families now and Iím big on family. I know several times we knew each other but a lot of times we didnít know each otherís families, and I think now filming this show brought our families together. We know each otherís families. We have an opinion on what we do outside of Trinity PD and I think thatís a great thing. Itís very important to me that I love about the show.

Chief Jones Iíd like to clarify one thing. We picked and played and everybody was rough but Morales did say he hurt himself because when you get to watch that episode youíll find out that nobody did that to him. When he finally did get hurt he hurt himself. Iíll tell you I love that Givens said we were all close together. We knew each otherís wives. We know your family this and that but we really became a lot closer because of the show.

Another thing I love as being the Chief is when the show was here my guys were here 24/7 even if they were notówell, they were here every day filming because whatever the film crew needed they were here for them, and the film crew really pushed my guys to be a better chief than I am because they were like, ďHey, guys we need you to roll. We need to go out here and roll around. We need to get some footage. We need you all to work. We need you to work so we can get footage.Ē They were really being a lieutenant for me, if you will, and really we had the most law enforcement patrolling around here than weíd ever had during the filming so I was really grateful for that.

The most thing Iím grateful for is that itís brought us all a lot closer and Iím hoping that everybody will be able to see that when they see the show of how much we really care for each other and how much we love each other. We all have our differences sometimes but in the end weíre a brotherhood and weíre a family.

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