One Monticello Life – Robin Hood, Candidate for County JudgeNovember 4th, 2012 by Mandy Moss
Robin Hood, son of Mack and Nola Hood, has lived in Drew County for almost all of his life. He was raised with 3 sisters and 3 brothers and said that having so many siblings made growing up a lot of fun, and described them as a very close family.
“We were very family oriented. My family was very loving and very Christian oriented. My mother was very spiritual and she was the spiritual head of our family. We always went to church; it was the focus of our lives.”
“Believe it or not, all seven of us children sang or played an instrument of some kind… very musically inclined in our family. A lot of our life was centered around that sort of thing. It was also centered around work. Dad raised cattle and we knew we had to work. We rode horses and that sort of thing. We were a very close knit and happy family, and we still are.”
The close relationship Robin has had with his family was very obvious when he was asked to take part in major events that occurred.
“Two of my brothers passed away and I still miss them both. I officiated Johnny’s funeral, and I also did my mother’s, at their request. They were both saved, and when Johnny got saved he requested that I baptize him… so I drove to Texarkana and baptized him.”
Robin Hood has held a love for not only his family, but also for furthering his education. He said that he has never stopped being a student, and is always eager to learn something new.
“I graduated from Monticello High School in 1962 and went to what used to be A&M (UAM) in 1972. I worked for the Monticello Police Department in August of ’69 and worked there until July of ’72. I worked there while attending college…. worked nights and went to class in the day. That was a tough life. I majored in general studies.”
“I left MPD to go to a Bible College (seminary) and I went to Conway and worked for Conway PD and went to Central Baptist College in 1980 with a degree in theology.”
“I was a career student; I have been a career student. I like taking lots of different classes.” “I taught at ALETA (Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy) for several years, and while I was there I took a lot of online classes.” “I took some Business Administration classes online and other classes.” “I did my graduate degree at NLU (Monroe) in counseling. I did back up studies in marriage and family therapy. For a period of time I worked as a counselor in Palmetto Addiction Recovery Center in Rayville, LA.”
In January of 2005, Robin Hood came back to Monticello.
“I always maintained my home here. I came home almost every weekend. This is home.”
Once back home, he began taking classes at UAM in Criminal Justice and Computer Tech.
“Last year I went to take some more classes and Dr. McKee told me I’d taken all of them… told me to do another audit and I’d probably have enough for another Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. Since there were no more classes to take I decided to take guitar lessons; I’m a guitar player. I also play piano, banjo, and all kinds of string instruments. I’m taking jazz guitar at UAM.”
As important as education has always been, Robin has always made sure to seek a career, and began learning the value of hard work at an early age.
“My first job was on the farm hauling hay, and I was probably around 12 years old or maybe younger. When we got home from school we knew we had to work on the farm if it was that time of year.”
“At age 13 I started playing guitar in a band with Hershel Gober. He was kind of a hero to all of us. He was the singing soldier from Vietnam. He came back here and had several hit songs back in the 60s. He hired me and took me under his wing. He was quite a good character. He took care of me and I played guitar for a long time with him, we even got on National TV with Homer and Jethro, a comedy act from the Grand Ole Opry, and a fundraiser for Jerry Lewis.”
“My first public job was at a restaurant no one will remember, called The Anchor. Mark Ray’s dad started it and then eventually they moved it and called it Ray’s. I waited tables when I was 15 or 16 years old, I just did whatever he needed me to do. “
“At around 18 I got started in the automotive parts business and worked my way into management in the automotive industry. I did that until I got into law enforcement. At age 24 I got on with MPD. I’ve been in some form of law enforcement ever since. I have around 30 years in law enforcement now.”
Once he began a career in law enforcement, he knew it was his calling. Robin Hood has been Chief Deputy at the Drew County Sheriff’s Office for seven years and says he does a lot of administration work in his current position.
Though work and school have been major parts of Robin’s life, he says that he owes all of the success he has managed to find to his wife, Lynda.
“We got married on October 12, 1984. We met in Louisiana and we dated for about two years before we got married. We were very compatible with our lives and she was a very sweet girl, and she put up with a lot of my junk. When we were dating we played music together and had a lot of good times. I was in Conway at first and she had moved here to Monticello. I went to work in the academy and we just kept seeing each other.” “She’s a sweetheart, everyone that sees her, loves her.”
Deputy Hood has two children, a son, Darin Hood, and a daughter, Shay Hood. He also has two grandsons, Brandon Flemister and Jonathan Hood.
The Hood family tradition of church and music has been carried on through Robin and Lynda’s marriage.
“We’re really involved in church. For several years we sang together, traveled together, and we made several gospel CDs. We sang at Morning Star, recentl y. We were invited by two different families so we were split on two different pews, it was funny. I’m going back to preach for them on May 20th.”
All aspects of ministry have been appealing to Robin Hood and he’s jumped into as many projects as he can to help others.
“In ministry I have been instrumental in building churches and drawing up plans, and actual construction, paying for them, and leaving them debt free.”
For the next stage of life, Chief Hood feels a calling to become Drew County Judge. When asked what led him to choose to run for the position he told MLive, “It’s a new step, a new adventure. I’m a public servant. I’ve been a public servant all of my adult life. I want to continue to serve people and I feel that as Drew County Judge I can serve the people of Drew County as their Judge and have an open door policy. I can listen to and understand their needs. Together we can build a better Drew County. My desire to meet the needs of the citizens is why I want to be Judge. Drew County is my home, it’s the place I love and where I want to stay. That’s why I want to be Judge.”
Chief Hood says he feels very well equipped to handle the position of Judge based on his past education and work experience.
“My educational background has prepared me. I’ve had a lot of education in administration and history. I’ve taken a lot of course work in administration and grant writing that I’ve taken through the Criminal Justice Institute. All of that has prepared me, and given me an ability to be able to work with budgets, and to find money, and to deal with people. The counseling aspect has helped me supervise people and care for people. I know how to understand people’s needs. My education has prepared me to sit down and listen to people and understand the needs of the public and talk to them. Not just put them away. I love people, I really love people. I care for people. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t even think about the office.”
“The law enforcement has prepared me because I have worked in city, county, and state government. I know how governmental operations work. “
“In my line of work I’ve had to prepare budgets. We have to figure out what we need and what it’s going to cost and present it. That has come from being a supervisor in law enforcement, but the needs of people I learned from working the streets. It’s helped me to listen to what people say and figure out what their needs are. And, as Judge, I would be very concerned about figuring out what the people of Drew County need.”
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