The first Texas constable was appointed in 1823 as “an officer who acts in the capacity of summoning witnesses and bringing offenders to justice.” During the years of the Republic’s existence 38 constables were elected or appointed, of which the largest number (13) were in Harrisburg County, later renamed Harris County. The beginning of the Civil War saw the constable’s role, as well as their number, dwindle dramatically. Some were absorbed into the Confederate Army and by the end of the war Texas constables were mostly a thing of the past. In an effort to decentralize control over state government, the Texas Constitution of 1876 mandated that constables would once again be elected at a precinct level. Law enforcement has come a long way since those days and there are currently close to 780 Constables serving throughout Texas counties.
Earliest county records show that the first Constable over Harris County Precinct 5 was C. Bolte, elected to office in 1879. Since this time 23 Constables have led Precinct 5, the latest being Constable Ted Heap, taking office in 2017.
Harris County Precinct 5 Constables from past to present.
1879-1885 C. Bolte 1886-1891 R.E. Sutton
1892-1895 J.W. Sutton 1895-1904 Jacob Michael
1905-1906 Fritz Theis 1907 William Peters
1908-1909 Frank Kuehn 1910-1911 Fritz Treichel
1912-1915 H.L. Metzler 1917-1918 Jason Engle
1919-1926 Herman Henrichs 1927-1931 Records Unavailable
1931-1932 W. H. Scott 1932-1933 W. M. Rudel
1934 W. H. Scott 1935-1940 H. M. Metzler
1941-1972 A. W. Theis 1973 J.C. Bolton
[JP and Constable precincts were redrawn to their current configuration]
1974-1975 Ralph D. Franz 1977-1984 Ed “Tracy” Maxon
1985-1988 Steve Radack 1989-2004 Glen Cheek
2004-2016 Phil Camus 2017 Ted Heap
Law enforcement has come a long way since those days and there are currently close to 780 Constables serving throughout Texas counties.
One of the most common questions is regarding the difference between a constable, sheriff, and municipal police officer. The short answer is the uniform they wear. In reality there is no difference, they all carry the same authority as officers who enforce the law and keep the peace, the differences are found in their various departmental structures and some added responsibilities. For example the sheriff has the added responsibility of maintaining the county jail while constables have the added duties of serving civil processes from the courts. The authority of all three in enforcing the law is identical.
Through the years Precinct 5 has seen many changes, not only in appearance, but in capabilities, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to serving and protecting the community.
To uphold the Constitution of the United States,
preserve the peace and enforce the laws of the State of Texas
by working cooperatively with the public and
always serving with honor and integrity.
Always Honor, Integrity, Service
Honor: We live by our oath of office; we recognize
the dignity of every person we encounter.
Integrity: We are honest and ethical in all
of our actions.
Service: We serve the public; we serve each other;
we are servant leaders.