ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - It's a full-time job, says Belton Havard, Angelina County Constable, Precinct Three. Protecting Angelina County citizens, as a constable, for nearly 12 years, Havard says he has the "know-how" needed to run a successful department.
"The constable's office has to be a full-time job. You can't be part-time, you know, because there's too much to do," said Havard.
This year's election is unique, Havard says, because recent redistricting just made his precinct the largest in the county by combining Huntington and Zavalla. With 24 years of continuous duty in law enforcement, there's no doubt in Havard's mind that he is the best man for the job.
"I feel like that I'm the best person for the job because I've had hands-on, ever since this thing got started. And, I grew up in Zavalla."
Havard's opponent, Chad Wilson, says it's time for new leadership. And, with 21 years of law enforcement experience, Wilson says he's the best candidate for the job.
"It'll be an extremely large area. You know, as I've said before, you're condensing two precincts into one, and you're reducing the man power in that area as well. So, it's going to take a really steep effort here to try to keep up with those things," said Wilson.
Wilson says precinct three has some "high-risk" areas that need tending to. He would like to get some neighborhood watch programs going, if elected.
"We have an increased drug problem there. And, we have several burglaries, thefts, you know, other crimes in the area," said Wilson.
Havard says he's already put forth effort to cleaning up these problem areas since taking office.
"A few bad places are in the precinct, you know, as far as crime and getting numerous calls. And, since I've taken office, I've like to think I made a difference in all that because some of these problem areas, there's a lot less calls on them now," said Havard.
Wilson would also like to see the constable's office more involved with the community.
"The public involvement needs to be improved. I think you need to be involved with your youth. They are your leaders of the future. I think we need to be involved with them, keep up with the growing trends. I think we need more patrol in the area, more night patrol, weekends, holidays. I think you need to be very active, very pro-active in this position," said Wilson.
Both men share a passion for law enforcement, and they're encouraging voters to go out and vote in the runoff.