GATESVILLE — Coryell County commissioners on Monday paid tribute to longtime lawman Roger Faught, then got busy filling the Precinct 1 constable vacancy left by Faught’s Jan. 26 death.
The commissioners declared Monday “a day to honor the achievements and exemplary service” of Faught, who was Coryell County sheriff from 2001-2004 before becoming a constable in 2005. He served 16 years with the Copperas Cove Police Department.
By voting to allow a constable to appoint a reserve deputy constable, the commissioners cleared the way for Precinct 2 Constable Shawn Camp to appoint Guy Beveridge to help with the constable duties in Precinct 1.
Texas constables are fully empowered peace officers whose primary job is to serve civil and criminal process papers.
“Precincts 1 and 2 are the busiest JP precincts in the county,” Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace John Guinn told the commissioners. “We need to move forward today” to fill the vacancy.
A reserve deputy constable can begin work as soon as he is bonded and sworn into office, County Attorney Brandon Belt told commissioners.
Commissioners set pay for a reserve deputy constable at $15 per hour.
Beveridge told the court he served 10 years in the U.S. Army, including duty with the military police. He has 15 years of law enforcement experience and is an accredited training officer.
Commissioners are accepting applications to fill the Precinct 1 constable post until November 2014, when voters in a special election will elect someone to serve the remainder of Faught’s term, which expires in 2016.
Applications can be sent to County Judge John Firth through Feb. 25.
Commissioners Jack Wall and Justin Latham will interview applicants and report back to the court on March 11, when the court is expected to vote to fill the position.
In other action, the commissioners did not renew the Nov. 14 burn ban that expired Monday, meaning outdoor burning in the county is allowed.
Anyone doing a controlled burn should notify the sheriff’s department beforehand, should attend to the fire while it is burning, and should not burn when the wind is blowing in excess of 23 mph, Firth said.