LEMIT Texas Constables Leadership College Graduates Recognized for Constable, Deputy Constable of the Year

By Veronica Gonzalez Hoff/veronicahoff@shsu.edu

Top leaders from 25 Constables’ Offices across Texas annually complete an intensive Leadership College at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) that covers many aspects of modern law enforcement management techniques, styles, and philosophies. Two Constables from the 2018 Texas Constables Leadership College (TCLC) graduating class were awarded the 2019 Constable and Deputy Constable of the Year by the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas (JPCA).

The Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas is the largest association of elected officials in the State of Texas. This association is very strong in the legislature. JPCA continues to develop relationships with state representatives to protect and advocate for the interests in justices of the peace, constables, and court clerks. This year the association celebrated 75 years. Each year at the annual conference, members are awarded the “of the year” awards. Members are nominated by a member or members and the awards committee selects the recipients.

This year the Constable of the Year for JPCA is Constable Bill Orton, Pct. 6 Matagorda County. Constable Orton has taken his office to an entirely new level, particularly in Matagorda County. After being elected, Orton only had himself and no deputies. Since that time, he has worked with Commissioner’s Court during budget review and has expanded his office to include 5 part-time deputies to assist him. Since this nomination, he now has 10 part-time deputies, a historic event for Matagorda County. He ensures that all his deputies are educated by the Texas Justice Court Training Center.

Mike Pendley, Deputy Constable for Williamson County Precinct 1, was awarded Deputy Constable of the Year. Mike began his law enforcement career in Travis County, where he became adept in all the aspects of the Constable’s role. In 2009, Mike made the choice to continue his law enforcement service in Williamson County. Since being with Precinct 1, Mike has been handed the responsibility of several leadership roles within the department. He has worked his way up through Sergeant Investigator, Lieutenant, and currently to the position of Chief Deputy.

“There are many positives in attending TCLC. A big positive is the networking opportunity TCLC presents. These are policing executives from all over the State and the relationships they develop to keep them engaged long into their careers,” said Rita Watkins, executive director of LEMIT. “TCLC is the stage for these executives to learn through case study discussions, personal leadership portfolio development, and dynamic lectures. The participants have ample opportunities to deepen their knowledge, broaden skill sets, and collaborate with peers.”

The Leadership College, held in three, one-week modules, is modeled after the Leadership Command College, a successful initiative to develop up-and-coming leaders in law enforcement agencies across the state. The Constable program emphasizes leadership and general management principles as well as political, legal, and social issues facing contemporary departments. The program is designed to benefit supervisors with at least five years’ experience.

During the classes, participants are exposed to many of the issues faced in the day-to-day operations of the office and the skills needed to lead a policing agency. The modules included training in the psychology of police leadership, internal affairs, ethics and intergovernmental relations, communications, cultural diversity, legal liability and human resources management.

For more information on the TCLC, contact Kandy Woodall, program coordinator, at 936-294-4756 or at ksw011@shsu.edu.

Member of The Texas State University System