Twelve years ago, the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department was dysfunctional at best, with an administrator who lost sight of his primary responsibility, focused too much time and energy on fantasylike crime fighting, oversaw a largely demoralized staff and greatly overspent the overtime budget.After Sheriff Dee Anderson was elected, he moved quickly to return, in his words, "dignity and pride to a professional organization." He did exactly that.Although still patrolling the ever-more-populated unincorporated areas of Tarrant County, Anderson decided to concentrate on running the county jail, which had 3,200 inmates when he arrived. Today, there are about 3,500 inmates in five facilities.One of his greatest accomplishments was insisting that a new maximum-security jail be located downtown rather than at a remote location favored by some downtown leaders. He almost single-handedly persuaded commissioners to build the $78.6 million jail downtown -- the right decision. Even though it hasn't opened yet, it is being hailed as the most technologically advanced jail in the state.Anderson, who says he is "a stickler for spending taxpayer money wisely," reduced overtime pay from more than $1.5 million to $200,000 in his first year in office. Overtime is less than $100,000 annually today, even though population in unincorporated areas has increased 40 percent since he took office.Anderson has served well during his three terms as sheriff. His opponent, Democrat Roberto C. Gracia, is a sheriff's employee who was fired but reinstated with a demotion by the Civil Service Commission.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Dee Anderson for Tarrant County sheriff.