BAYTOWN One has to remember when Ken Jones was the Captain of Precinct 3 under Constable James Douglas as this reporter does, a reporter would hear almost anything from anybody and then defer to Ken Jones to find out the unvarnished truth, the facts that had not gone through the spin cycle.
That then would be the status Ken Jones would earn, honor and honesty of words. In started February 1, 1982. I was running the patrol and office. Years later he had a heart attack and a stroke and he told me, You need to run.
I told him I did not know the first thing about running and he said, Youve been here long enough, you know the job. Just get out there and the people will do the rest. and that is what I did and I was elected in 1999. Since then I have had thirteen opponents. One election I got 90 percent of the vote but generally I got about 70%.
In the last election he had 70%.
When I ran for office the first time we had about 47 officers, right now we have 147. Hopefully we will pick up a couple more from contracts but right now 147. Our budget has gone from $4 Million to $12.6 Million. I am proud of my programs with the community, our senior citizens programs, our youth programs, the job the men and women do is just fabulous. One reason I hate to retire is the office is running so smooth and my health is so good. But my wife insists that at the end of this term is when to do it. We were married in 1966 when I was in the service. At that time I was in the Air Force for four years. I took a direct commission and went into the Army Reserves for five years. I came out and went right into law enforcement. My wife and I never had a break from the military or law enforcement. I have been an administrator all my career except for four years. After forty something years of doing law enforcement, I guess she deserves a break from it, I know I enjoyed it. There is not a day in law enforcement I didnt enjoy. You cant ask for better people than what we have in Precinct 3. I am hoping that my successor comes from my department to build on what I have established over the years.
Most of my captain staff have a working knowledge of operations, there will be a learning curve of the details of operations but it is so important that we keep the expertise gathered from experience in by the book law enforcement. Someone coming in from the outside it would take them five ten years to understand and get running a system. The days of the good ole boy are over now it takes administrator that knows the civil law and the legal law. That isnt to mention what happens on patrol, your liability out there can only be countered by training. We exceed the state mandated training by 40 hours. But that still does not bar a mistake, so it is a constant vigil. I have been fortunate to have fine men and women work for me. We have not had one scandal since I have been Constable. It will be sixteen years in office. We are very rarely in the press for negative. What I am really proud of is that I have good honest people working for me. We have really enjoyed the support of the community, they have been there for us, helped us. We weathered some hard times the lay off we had in 2013. But, I have to say this, I have worked with the greatest bunch of commissioners, these men have helped me worked with us on problems and the budget office. It has been a team effort.
We have the County Attorney to represent me if I mess up or if someone files a frivelous lawsuit. Thank the Lord, I have had only two suits in all these years and they were both personnel terminations but they were thrown out by the judge. We run it right by the book, and I am so proud that we have never cost the county money on mistakes. Not saying that tomorrow I wont get one but I am very glad of that. Out of hundreds of thousands of civil papers we have not been sued, now we have had arguements with attorneys over process, of course, but no suit. That to me is an accomplishment.
The only thing I am going to enjoy about retirement for sure is I will not miss those calls at two or three oclock in the morning and worrying about deputies out there in deadly situations. Every night I go to bed, I pray for their safety. We have lost two deputies to violence in the line of duty since I have been Constable, and the department has lost three but it is always a worry. That is the down side of the job.