Grimes County Sheriff response to 'no hug' policy going viral

GRIMES COUNTY, Tex. (KBTX) - A sheriff in south Texas says he’s no longer going to give hugs. Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin posted the announcement on Facebook last week.

In the post, he wrote he would no longer offer hugs to anyone outside family and close friends, due to rising number of sexual assault and harassment claims across the country.

But the policy didn’t sit well with Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell, who says he’s never giving up on hugs.

Sowell’s Facebook post on Monday went viral.

“People from all over, I even got a call from Montana,” said Sowell. “I’ve been very touched by all the nice comments”

Sowell posted that he would never stop hugging people that welcomed them.

“I looked at it in a humorous way to tell my opinion,” said Sowell. “Not to say anything negative to anybody else.”

His opinion in his office is to keep giving hugs. He says he decided to post his response to social media after several people around the office and community asked if he would make the same policy.

“My mother would be awfully upset if I did that,” he said. “I was raised this way.”

The Texas sheriff says it’s all about keeping chivalry alive.

“It’s still a common gentlemanly gesture to open a door for ladies and tip your hat,” he said. “That’s all I was saying there is nothing wrong with that.”

But he says he does get it, he understands in today’s climate where a policy like that is coming from.

“If someone does badly there is a system to fix it. You have a system of reporting things that happen to you as you can see around the country.”