Constable Needing Gas Money - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/03/06 - Nacogdoches

Constable Needing Gas Money

by Donna McCollum

Constable Shane Johnson uses about 460 gallons a fuel month to run the county pickup he drives around precinct one. When he needed more gas money Precinct one Commissioner Tom Bush told him,"To really look at and see if all these trips out and about the county are necessary."

Johnson says he can justify every mile. He drives about 7000 miles each month serving court papers, patrolling back roads and responding to sheriff's dispatches. "It's not so much helping the sheriff department out as it is providing an effective patrol for the citizens of the county. And it shows good communication between two agencies working together to get one job done and that's the safety and security of the citizens of this county."

Bush says a constables' primary function is to only serve papers for the justice of the peace. Bush said, "I'm against doing patrolling when he's out of money and wants more." Johnson would have run out of gas money by September. He asked for $5,525, but only received $2,700 and a work date with the commissioner.  

Bush said, "Sometimes they [elected and non elected officials] lose focus and it's my job to help them stay focused."

All law enforcement are faced with rising gasoline prices. Officers are doubling up in cars and calls are often combined. And their attitude is most always the same as Johnson who said, "If they need me I'm coming."

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