Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said today he will not support cuts to the County Constables staff when the county approves its budget next month, essentially killing the proposal to eliminate 15 deputy constables as a way to balance the county's budget, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Wolff says he will also commit to maintaining full funding for the county Justices of the Peace, which were also facing budget cuts.
"Controversy over the proposed cuts to the constables offices has created discord between the constables and the Bexar County Sheriff," Wolff wrote in a letter to County Administrator David Smith. "This conflict is ultimately harmful to the justice system and I cannot support cuts to constables offices."
The proposal to cut the constables, first revealed by 1200 WOAI's Morgan Montalvo, sparked major push back at last week's Commissioners County budget work session.
Constables talked about the impact losing their jobs would have on their ability to support their families, and neighborhood association groups said law enforcement is not the best place for a growing county to make cuts.
Wolff said he and Commissioner Paul Elizondo will find funding elsewhere in the budget to maintain all of the constable positions.
There are four Constables precincts in Bexar County, matching the Commissioners Precincts. Each has an elected constable who employs several deputy constables.Constables are certified Texas peace officers.
They mainly perform jobs like serving court papers, handling evictions, and providing court security at County Courts of Law, but they also actively engage in law enforcement activities as well, especially in rural Bexar County, and in underserved parts of the city.