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Dirt Dart
08-23-2009, 08:24 PM
Having begun my search for applicable agencies to work for I asked my friend who is an Austin PD officer about them. He said that generally they are looked down upon by other agencies and are pretty much where the old and lame go when they either can't hack it anymore or can't get on with another department. He also said that the type of work they do is pretty lame. Is this the general consensus? I would like to hear opinions on working there.

Carl
08-23-2009, 09:17 PM
He must not have ever seen Dallas County Constables work. Dallas County Constables do not fit that bill you describe at all. I see them working all the time on IH-35E.

janego10
08-23-2009, 09:53 PM
Down in South Texas, we have the constable offices that just do civil process, work monday through friday 8-5 and weekends off. We also have those that work shifts and do patrol duties like everyone else.

ddurkof
08-23-2009, 10:02 PM
Depends on the county. Harris County has some excellent deputy constables as do some of the surrounding counties. There are some that stick to serving civil papers and JP warrants, but there are others that are very proactive and work everything from traffic to auto theft to fugitive task forces.

A constable has to be re-elected every four years and that can be a benefit or a detriment depending on what happens. You may be without a job if someone new is elected. Go talk to a deputy at the pct that you are interested in working for and see what their day entails.

I worked for a constable back in 1980 and there was a lot of freedom as to what you did and when you did it. Serving civil papers was pretty boring, but then I could set my hours.

There were times I had great deal of fun running down people who wrote hot checks. Big violators would write checks totaling more than $10,000.00 and would be very good at trying to avoid arrest. They come in all shapes and sizes. I remember a couple who were grandparents that were pretty hard to catch. Another lady lived in a large home and worked at a chemical plant in Deer Park making really good money. I arrested her as she was about to walk into the gate at work for the midnight shift.

Depending on the constable and what I was assigned to do I would consider doing it again if I were looking for a job.

TEX_DEPUTY
08-24-2009, 01:13 AM
I have a new found respect for constables. Today, I was enroute to a "harassment in progress" which really turned out to be a domestic dispute. While enroute I encountered the suspect/second parties vehicle. He was driving all over the road, I pulled him over and realized he was intoxicated. My S.O. FTO program never showed me how to do a DWI. Luckily, a constable was in the area and heard that I had checked out with the second party. The constable arrived to check on my status and offered to take the DWI from me. I can't tell you enough how great full I felt after that. I always looked down on them but now I don't.

DAL
08-24-2009, 01:22 AM
My understanding is that in the Houston area the constables do a lot of contract patrol for homeowners' associations. When I was there in the 1980s, I was told that there was a lot of variation in quality. I think some of them were part-time, too.

The lack of job security is a very negative factor. You also will not have the variety of assignments and promotional opportunities afforded by a large, primary law-enforcement agency.

913
08-24-2009, 01:26 AM
Like some of the other posters suggested, it largely depends on the dept. Some depts. are podunk and backwards, and depending on how you play the game, your job may or may not be secure. Others, like some (not all) of the Houston area depts., are too big and are much more squared away. Yes, they all have their papers and JP court stuff, but some have distinct patrol divisions, work wrecks, knock down a lot of bad guys, do "normal" police stuff, etc.

JSD73
08-24-2009, 01:36 AM
If only the constables in Galveston County were like the ones in Harris County *sigh*

bikecop136
08-24-2009, 05:38 AM
He must not have ever seen Dallas County Constables work. Dallas County Constables do not fit that bill you describe at all. I see them working all the time on IH-35E.

+1...Those Dallas County boys are crazy......

Lawfficer
08-24-2009, 11:56 AM
My understanding is that in the Houston area the constables do a lot of contract patrol for homeowners' associations. When I was there in the 1980s, I was told that there was a lot of variation in quality. I think some of them were part-time, too.

The lack of job security is a very negative factor. You also will not have the variety of assignments and promotional opportunities afforded by a large, primary law-enforcement agency.

The Harris County Constables' Offices also provide police services on the tollways, some of the county parks, MUDs, business districts, school districts, etc.

Some of the precincts utilize a lot of reserve deputies. I've heard that Harris County Precinct 6 and 7 are mostly reserves. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


Having begun my search for applicable agencies to work for I asked my friend who is an Austin PD officer about them. He said that generally they are looked down upon by other agencies and are pretty much where the old and lame go when they either can't hack it anymore or can't get on with another department. He also said that the type of work they do is pretty lame. Is this the general consensus? I would like to hear opinions on working there.

There are some excellent deputy constables that I work with on a daily basis. They are very proactive and competent in what they are doing. They will also back us up on dangerous calls and will run some of our calls on their own. I would trade some of our (lazy and incompetent) officers for them any day.

That being said, a lot of the deputies that I've spoken with complain about being at-will employees. The constable can promote, demote, or fire you at any given time for just about any reason.

Like others have said, the type of services provided will depend on which precinct you are talking about. Some only serve the courts. Others will have large patrol divisions with several hundred deputies. Some will have specialized divisions like K9 and others won't.

janego10
08-24-2009, 04:46 PM
down here in my county, they just went civil service

913
08-25-2009, 01:54 AM
I know back in the day 6 used to have like 12 full time employees (the Constable's friends and family) and 300 reserves. And about 90% of those reserves illegally worked extra jobs. Don't know if that's still the case though.

jcastw
08-25-2009, 11:49 AM
I know several Deputy Constables from Fort Bend and Harris County. I can't speak for all of Texas, but for the most part the guys and gals from these areas work. Just like any agency there are those not interested in working, but my experieince with the majority of them has been a positive one. I've had them as my back up on stopping a rollin' stolen, back up on big disturbances, assisting hands on with out of control 1096 persons. If I see them on traffic I check by.

It all depends on where you go. They take the same oath as a municipal police officer, county sheriff, etc. Each agency is different. Some just run civil process and some are straight up law enforcement agencies.

TexasAggieOfc
08-25-2009, 03:53 PM
On my days off from my real job at my PD, I'm THE Deputy Constable in an adjoining county. Me and the Constable serve warrants (hot checks are our big thing here lately with our new County Attorney), serve our civil process, occassionally go out on the major highway though the county, work a little traffic and try to sniff up dope and dope money. But for the most part, we drink coffee and socialize with the other county officials. Of course, he's retired Harris County SO and isn't running for reelection, and I'm padding my resume to run for Constable in 2012. It's usually different though in the bigger counties. When I worked for Tarrant County SO, several of the Constables had their Deputies working their tails off shagging calls and working traffic.

dallascntycop
08-26-2009, 12:32 AM
Big Texan your right on....In Dallas County we do everything!!!! Stay safe all..

SOI
08-26-2009, 12:44 AM
My S.O. FTO program never showed me how to do a DWI. Luckily, a constable was in the area and heard that I had checked out with the second party. The constable arrived to check on my status and offered to take the DWI from me.

I hope you stuck around a little and learned and didn't just take off. DWI is one of the most common crimes and it is very important to learn how to enforce effectively and efficiently. I can't believe an FTO program would skip this and I can't believe anyone could make it through FTO without coming across one.

Find someone who is proficient in them, Trooper, S.O., P.D., Constable, etc, it doesn't matter. Have them go over the proper procedures for handling them.

If your agency was negligent in training you it isn't your fault. To a point. Then it's up to you to seek out knowledge and learn on your own. And the next time you get a DWI, try it yourself. If there is someone else around who is more knowledgeable have them watch, give minor pointers, and critique you later. It probably won't be pretty on film and you may goof. If you goof, correct yourself and keep going. Worst case scenario is it goes to trial and he gets off. But even that is valuable courtroom testimony experience.


I always looked down on them but now I don't.

Good. Don't ever make that mistake again. Some towns have City Marshals. Some people look down on them too. When I worked in west Texas some of the Marshals were hardcore street cops and knew their stuff. The area they were from just happened to be less populated. Never look down on someone because of their title whether it be deputy constable, city marshal, game warden, TABC, etc. There are good and bad in every agency. Give everyone a chance and if a particular person is a poor cop then that is one person not the entire agency.

FlashTACP
08-26-2009, 12:59 AM
I know the Dallas Cty guys do a lot of traffic due to the county deficit. But I think they just work days. I work deep nights, and I never see them out.

Rush817
08-26-2009, 09:33 AM
I know the Dallas Cty guys do a lot of traffic due to the county deficit. But I think they just work days. I work deep nights, and I never see them out.

Roman Skinner's boys have a DWI Unit that work till 0200 hrs on the weekends. They also work evenings during the week.

RPA1069
08-26-2009, 11:05 PM
+1 Bigtex. Last I checked we all bleed blue or at least we are supposed to.

Dirt Dart
08-26-2009, 11:36 PM
Thanks for all the feedback.

TRichie
08-27-2009, 07:36 PM
I am a nDeputy Constable in Harris County. I work patrol and stay plenty busy. Most of our positions are contract based but all run calls no matter who's contract it is. We back up HCSO and vice versa. All of our precinct is pretty much unincorporated county so we have the run of the streets pretty much. We are a pretty large agency and have some specialty units such as K9/ATV/Mounted/Bike Patrol, Investigations, High-Tech Crimes, etc and of course have our civil and warrant divisions. It all depends upon the agency.

C6 still is pretty much reserve based many of thier paid positions come from grants and are year-to-year. They fall 100% within the city so HPD gets the major calls. They do alot within the housing projects.

C7 is more squared away now that Constable Walker is in there. She doesn't just hand out badges to whoever she wants, qualified or not, ike Perry Wooten did.

C1 is the mental health agency for the county and they pack them into NPC faster than the docs can deal with them it seems.

C8 is about the only agency that isn't real big into the contract deputy program but they are a very squared away agency when it comes to patrol.

I heard at some county function that if you add up all the Deputy Constables that patrol in Harris County we would out number the Seriff's Office Partol Division.

bell4fan
08-27-2009, 08:22 PM
I hope you stuck around a little and learned and didn't just take off. DWI is one of the most common crimes and it is very important to learn how to enforce effectively and efficiently. I can't believe an FTO program would skip this and I can't believe anyone could make it through FTO without coming across one.

Find someone who is proficient in them, Trooper, S.O., P.D., Constable, etc, it doesn't matter. Have them go over the proper procedures for handling them.

If your agency was negligent in training you it isn't your fault. To a point. Then it's up to you to seek out knowledge and learn on your own. And the next time you get a DWI, try it yourself. If there is someone else around who is more knowledgeable have them watch, give minor pointers, and critique you later. It probably won't be pretty on film and you may goof. If you goof, correct yourself and keep going. Worst case scenario is it goes to trial and he gets off. But even that is valuable courtroom testimony experience.





Its good to see how its done, but DO NOT try it your self until you have been through the class and are certified in the SFST. The case will probably get thrown out and the defense lawyer will absolutely humiliate you on the stand.
Make your department send you to the SFST school. It takes just a few days to get it.

ninjathatcould
08-28-2009, 02:32 AM
Its good to see how its done, but DO NOT try it your self until you have been through the class and are certified in the SFST. The case will probably get thrown out and the defense lawyer will absolutely humiliate you on the stand.
Make your department send you to the SFST school. It takes just a few days to get it.

Strange that he wouldn't have learned SFST in the academy. Our SFST instructors were HCCO Pct 4 Sgt Redd and Sgt Norris. They did a great job in scaring us into memorizing the exact steps in HGN, WAT and OLS. I have yet to start my FT, but I couldn't imagine hitting the streets with no prior knowledge of SFST or impaired driving clues.

Carl
09-01-2009, 05:11 PM
I hope you stuck around a little and learned and didn't just take off. DWI is one of the most common crimes and it is very important to learn how to enforce effectively and efficiently. I can't believe an FTO program would skip this and I can't believe anyone could make it through FTO without coming across one.

Find someone who is proficient in them, Trooper, S.O., P.D., Constable, etc, it doesn't matter. Have them go over the proper procedures for handling them.

If your agency was negligent in training you it isn't your fault. To a point. Then it's up to you to seek out knowledge and learn on your own. And the next time you get a DWI, try it yourself. If there is someone else around who is more knowledgeable have them watch, give minor pointers, and critique you later. It probably won't be pretty on film and you may goof. If you goof, correct yourself and keep going. Worst case scenario is it goes to trial and he gets off. But even that is valuable courtroom testimony experience.



Good. Don't ever make that mistake again. Some towns have City Marshals. Some people look down on them too. When I worked in west Texas some of the Marshals were hardcore street cops and knew their stuff. The area they were from just happened to be less populated. Never look down on someone because of their title whether it be deputy constable, city marshal, game warden, TABC, etc. There are good and bad in every agency. Give everyone a chance and if a particular person is a poor cop then that is one person not the entire agency.

Definitely wait until all the camera's are off to be critiqued :D

JSD73
09-01-2009, 05:52 PM
Strange that he wouldn't have learned SFST in the academy. Our SFST instructors were HCCO Pct 4 Sgt Redd and Sgt Norris. They did a great job in scaring us into memorizing the exact steps in HGN, WAT and OLS. I have yet to start my FT, but I couldn't imagine hitting the streets with no prior knowledge of SFST or impaired driving clues.


Hmm, I graduated the academy back in Feb 97...we didn't do SFST's back then...Im still not SFST certified to this day. I'm probably gonna go to the class because I think HGN is necessary but I come from the day where we did the one leg stand, the walk n turn, the arms out to your sides tilt your head back and touch your nose while your eyes are closed, the tilt your head back close your eyes and count to what you think is 30 seconds tests....but I think we called them motor skills exercises.

TEX_DEPUTY
09-01-2009, 06:48 PM
I am SFST certified to include HGN. I was never thought the paper work all the carbon copy forms you gotta do. I heard that's the tricky part.