SAN ANGELO, TX – A salary grievance committee Thursday recommended raises for the four Tom Green County Constables after a two hour hearing in the Commissioner's Court Room.
The committee was made up of four elected officials and three members of the public. Three of the four constables requested the hearing after they asked County Commissioners for an 18% raise during the budget process earlier this summer. They presented evidence to the court that showed Tom Green County Constables were paid less that Constables in comparable counties around the state.
County Judge Steve Floyd recommended a 5.5% raise for the Constables in his FY2022 budget proposal in an attempt to bring their salaries in line with their peers in other counties.
Each county in Texas has four Constables; one for each county precinct. Texas law says "A constable is a licensed peace officer and performs various law enforcement functions. They also serve legal documents and perform other duties.
Constables are elected officers and serve four year terms.
A county constable in Texas has the following duties:
- Serves as a licensed peace officer and performs various law enforcement functions, including issuing traffic citations
- Serves warrants and civil papers such as subpoenas and temporary restraining orders
- Serves as bailiff for Justice of the Peace Court"
Tom Green County Pct. 4 Constable Randy Harris told the committee that the Constables here perform three to five court-ordered evictions each week. Harris showed videos to the committee of body cam footage where they have to break down doors sometimes to evict tenants and return possession of the property to the landlord.
The Tom Green County Constables are: Pct. 1 Mike Magee, Pct. 2 Deen Dickson, Pct. 3 Mark Whitaker and Pct. 4 Randy Harris.
Constable Dickson didn't request a raise, instead he asked that any raise he received would go toward making his part time deputy full time.
Each Constable has a part time deputy except Whitaker, whose deputy is full time.
Harris says they never know if they are facing someone who is armed or ready to commit violence. It is a dangerous job.
Constables currently have a base salary of approximately $50,000 per year. The current budget proposal was approximately $57,000 per year.
After the two hour hearing, the committee voted six to one to recommend raising Constables' salaries to approximately $62,000 per year or a raise of about 10%.
Since the recommendation was not unanimous, the decision now goes to the Commissioners Court which will vote on the proposed raise during a budget hearing at the end of August.