As you may have read in Monday’s edition of The Galveston County Daily News, my office is in danger of losing one full-time deputy and two $100-a-month deputies.
This move is in addition to the planned reduction of the number of constables from eight to four. The rationale for the reduction of my staff is that constables are charged under the Local Government Code primarily with serving civil process and warrants along with providing bailiffs to the justice court and that we should not duplicate the law enforcement efforts of other agencies.
As peace officers, however, constables and their deputies also are charged under the Code of Criminal Procedure with preserving the peace in their respective jurisdictions. The statutory mandate provided in these two sections was clearly contemplated and intended by the Texas Legislature and is essential in maintaining the quality of life here in the North County.
I also would argue the value that constables provide to the taxpayers. The county is compensated from $70 to $200 for each service of civil process. There also are fines and fees associated with the service of justice court warrants.
Constables also play a crucial role in the collection of restitution for aggrieved merchants and delinquent taxes for various taxing entities. My staff is composed almost entirely of veteran officers with years of honorable service with local police departments such as League City, Friendswood, Webster and Houston.
These highly trained and experienced deputies are compensated far less than municipal police officers or sheriff’s deputies. Additionally, one of my $100-a-month deputies holds an MBA and works 25 to 30 hours a week.
In addition to our prescribed duties, we are proud to assist local police departments in locating and arresting felony suspects and providing traffic control for special events and at school zones such as Ross Elementary.
If these services are important to you, I urge you to voice your concerns to commissioners court.
At a glance
WHAT: County commissioners budget workshop
WHEN: 9 a.m. Monday
WHERE: County courthouse, 722 Moody St., in Galveston