KATY (Covering Katy News) – Calls for service by the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office have drastically increased over the past three years but that did not keep Sheriff Troy Nehls from eliminating all county constables deputies from being dispatched to calls, even if they are closer than his units.
Now the Constable who represents Katy, and surrounding unincorporated areas has published statistics to bolster his claim that a new dispatch procedure put into effect by Sheriff Troy Nehls will be harmful to public safety.
According to statistics being released by Precinct 3 Constable Wayne Thompson, his office responded to nearly 14,000 calls in 2016, before he was elected. He says in 2018 his office responded to more than 33,000 calls, now they’re not being dispatched to any calls.
As the debate continues over whether the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office should be dispatching calls to the nearest available units rather than only to their deputies, Thompson released his 2018 Year in Review report detailing the work of his deputies, and how they’ve increased law enforcement activities since he was elected. Thompson hopes his report will show how vital his deputies are to law enforcement in the unincorporated areas of places like Katy, Fulshear, and Richmond.
Like What You're Reading?
Thompson is not pleased that the Sheriff’s Office is no longer dispatching calls to deputy constables because he says every call for service should go to the nearest available unit. Under the new practice, deputy constables can respond if they hear the call on the radio, but they are no longer being directly dispatched by the sheriff’s office which controls the dispatch center.
On Jan. 1, 2019 Sheriff Troy Nehls stopped dispatching calls to deputy constables in favor of only dispatching deputy sheriffs, even if the Sheriff’s Units are further away from the call and take longer to respond to the person who called for help. Nehls claims his new dispatch procedure has decreased response time in Thompson’s Precinct 3.
“The result is that we saw a 14.4-second reduction in average response time to dispatched calls for service,” said a Sheriff’s Office statement.
Neither Thompson nor Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers believe Nehl’s claims that the new policy has decreased response times since it was instituted. They question the methodology of how the Sheriff’s Office made its conclusion.
“I would hope the sheriff would revert to his previous policy of dispatching the nearest law enforcement officer to a call to ensure the fastest response,” Meyers said.
Sheriff Nehls says the Constable’s Office can still hear the call on the radio and can respond if they choose to do so.
Thompson says the new system instituted by Nehls skews the statistics to make it appear that Constables are not responding to calls. Thompson says even if his deputies hear the sheriff’s deputy being called and they respond to the scene first, the Sheriff’s office will send a unit to the scene and statistically take credit for the call even if the situation has been resolved.
On Friday, Thompson posted the following statistics on social media. These are numbers compiled before Nehls changed his dispatch policy.
Fort Bend County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3 2018 Year in Review
Total Calls for Service as Primary Unit:
2016 – 13,920 (Previous Administration)
2017 – 25,195
2018 – 33,223
2017 – 279 Felony Arrests – 52 Misdemeanor – 227
2018 – 405 Felony Arrests – 88 Misdemeanor – 317
Total Vehicle Crashes Worked:
2016 – 66 (Previous Administration)
2017 – 243
2018 – 235
Total Traffic Stops:
2016 – 1,663 (Previous Administration)
2017 – 8,531
2018 – 14,170
Civil Process Served:
2016 – 3,759 (Previous Administration)
2017 – 4,071
2018 – 4,382
2016 – 2,765 (Previous Administration)
2017 – 3,343
2018 – 2,275
Motorist Assistance Program:
2018 – 2,485 miles driven / 162 hours