Constable Michael Truitt of Denton County Precinct 2
Alumnus Michael Truitt (MS ’12) was named Constable of the Year by the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas, a distinction earned for years of enforcing the law, processing civil court documents, and instructing fellows Constables in the duties of the office.
“Each of these awards seek to acknowledge the commitment and dedication that our specific positions require with exemplary performance or actions that rise above the standard,” according to the JPCA Web site. “Throughout the State, great variety and diversity exists in the manner and style that duties are performed and annually the Association takes the opportunity to publicly acknowledge individuals who are nominated by their peers and selected by a committee to be chosen as representative of the best of the best for each group.”
Truitt became Constable in 2005Truitt has served as Constable for Precinct 2 in Denton County since 2005, and he is an instructor for Constables at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at Sam Houston State University and at the Texas Justice Court Training Center at Texas State University in Austin. During his career, he has worked as a dispatcher, a Sheriff’s Deputy, a Constable’s Deputy and in the Criminal District Attorney’s Office.
At the Denton County Constable Precinct 2 Office, Truitt handles civil processing and law enforcement duties with his staff of five deputies and five reserves and two administrative personnel. “We do both,” said Constable Truitt. “While our
main job is the civil law enforcement, such as writs, warrants and citations, we also handle criminal law enforcement duties as well . We are all veteran law enforcement officers and can do reports and file cases. We do not shy away from criminal cases.”
Truitt began his career in 1983 as a dispatcher for the Austin Police Department, which introduced him to the “pulse of what’s going on.” He served as a reserve officer for Dallas County for four years before taking a job as a Deputy Constable in Dallas County Precinct 3.
In 1992, He launched his first campaign for Constable, where he lost by a mere 12 votes. In 1993, he joined the Denton County Sheriff’s Office, where he honed his skills in criminal law enforcement, managerial skills, bonds and records, and human resources. In the late 1990’s, Truitt left the Sheriff’s Office to work at the Criminal District Attorney’s Office as a felony investigator but returned to the Sheriff’s Office 20 months later.
When the former Constable of Denton County Precinct 2 was charged with a felony crime, Truitt was appointed to fill his unexpired term. He has since been re-elected three times.
Truitt is an instructor at LEMIT and at the Texas Justice Court Training Center. “It was an interesting transition,” Truitt said. “In a lot of respects, I knew the job, but the toughest part was the negative publicity from the previous Constable. I wanted the deputies to know that it did not reflect on their jobs or the office. I had to do a lot of public relations, and I had to talk to every group I could think of and build a new public image. You have got to look at the office and what it does, not just one individual.”
Over the years, Truitt has earned many law enforcement accreditations, including advanced certificates for Master Peace Officer, Instructor Proficiency, and Firearms Instructor He shares his talents in teaching new Constables the roles and responsibilities of the office at the Newly Elected Constable School conducted by LEMIT each January.
At LEMIT, Truitt is an instructor with the Constables Continuing Education Course, keeping veteran leaders up to date on revisions to civil processing laws and procedure. This fall, he will teach at the Texas Constable Leadership College, which provides advanced leadership skills for emerging leaders in the field. He will highlight the history of the Constable’s Office, the oldest law enforcement agency in Texas, and the continuing battle to maintain the office in the state. “We need to be more than a token presence within the county,” Truitt said. “It is hard for small counties, where there is not a large population, to get good quality Constables. Counties have to provide a fair wage and allow them to do the work that they are mandated to do by law. Constables have proven their worth in Texas.”
In the last three years, Truitt graduated from LEMIT’s Leadership Command College, a premier program for up and coming law enforcement leaders, and earned his Master of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University. He said both programs help him tackle daily issues on the job.
“I learned a lot through the Master’s program,” said Truitt. “It provided a lot of timely information on what I was going through in the county, like Texas employment laws. It provided me with a much broader knowledge on how to deal with people and better manage the office. It gave me ideas on how to deal with other agencies and within my office.”
“Coming from different backgrounds, the instructors and other students can give each other ideas and discuss different ways to handle things,” he added. “That is what makes this Master’s program so beneficial.”