Even Simple Jobs Can Be Dangerous For Law Officers
by: Pat Hernandez, August 14, 2012 11:08:00 am
The deadly Brazos County shootout that began as an eviction notice is just one example of what can happen in the daily duties of a law enforcement officer.
"All of us have a certain kind of bond that all of know that we have a duty, and sometimes that duty means that it'll cost us our life. But we fulfill that duty, we stay true to the duty."
That's Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino, 1 of 8 precinct constables in Harris County. He says the men and women who wear the badge belong to a close-nit fraternity, and was saddened to hear of the death of Brazos County constable Brian Bachmann.
"This young constable, just looking at his background, was very much loved in his community. He had earned that respect from being close to the people, which is our duty to serve, but that's the part of our job too that ... it's not about how long we've been around, it's just making sure that we do the best job we can."
After spending 13 years as a Houston Police officer, Trevino has been constable for 24 years. He says while he and his deputy constables are sworn peace officers, they also perform civil duties mandated by court order.
Harris County Pct 6 Constable Victor Trevino
"We have to sometimes go and repossess property from individuals. Those are duties are only designated to the constable. So the constable can do both. They can also patrol [and] enforce criminal laws. So it's more variety, but at the same time these are duties that sometimes some people think it's not a big deal like an eviction, a move out."
Those actions have an unknown variable, not knowing what might be behind the door. Trevino says he reminds his 70 deputies to keep their guard up at all times.
"Here you're gonna serve a civil paper. You're being respectful, you're smiling, you wanna be cordial. But yet this individual has already made up his mind. He's gonna cross the line and commit the most serious crime there is — to shoot at the police officer. It's very difficult for us to know that. We still have to keep our composure to be friendly, and I think that's what this constable did. He acted true to his duty all the way."
Trevino adds unlike a large jurisdiction like Harris County, it's not unusual for the actual constable to serve a warrant.