Candidates for Montgomery County constable Precinct 4 discuss safety challenges, law-enforcement backgrounds

Three candidates are vying for a place as the Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Three candidates are vying for a place as the Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Three candidates are vying for a place as the Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Image description
Courtesy Kenneth "Rowdy" Hayden
Image description
Courtesy Bryan Skero
Image description
Courtesy King Merritt

Three candidates are vying for a place as the Republican candidate for Montgomery County constable, Precinct 4, in the March 3 primary election, including incumbent Kenneth "Rowdy" Hayden, King Merritt and Bryan Skero. There is not a Democratic candidate in the running, so the winner of the Republican primary election will win the position.

Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden (R)

Years in district:
48

Website: www.constablerowdyhayden.com

If elected, I would: continue to run an office that makes East Montgomery County a safer place to live, work and raise a family.



1. What is the biggest public safety challenge your precinct faces today, and how do you plan to tackle it?

We are constantly fighting the war on drugs in East [Montgomery] County. I take seriously keeping drugs off our streets. Through targeted programs, a task force partnership with the [Drug Enforcement Administration] and our Constable 180 program, we don’t just stop crime, but we also stop the cycle.

2. What do you believe is the most important function constables play in their community?

A constable’s statutory duty is civil process service. However, for the people of Precinct 4, an equally important function is my office’s ability to provide localized law enforcement services unique to this area. I am proud of my work to reduce crime in the community my family calls “home.”

3.
What is your background in law enforcement?

I am a master peace officer with nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience in Montgomery County. I have served as the [Precinct] 4 constable for 11 years. I am also a graduate of Leadership Command College and Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas.

King Merritt (R)

Years in district:
almost a year

Website: www.kingmerritt4constable4.weebly.com

If elected, I would: change the "good old boy" philosophy and implement a foreign concept known as "customer service." A good customer service foundation will reflect in a professional image and promote excellence. The community will be job No. 1. In addition, an emergency management plan is needed so that when a tropical storm or natural disaster strikes, a plan is in place to help the community go to a safe place where senior citizens and people with special needs are properly cared for. This can be accomplished without tax increases and employing a competent management strategy by utilizing existing resources.

1. What is the biggest public safety challenge your precinct faces today, and how do you plan to tackle it?

The biggest public safety challenge is traffic, drugs and bullets landing on residential homes. A long-term strategy will be working with [the Texas Department of Transportation] in reducing traffic congestion on FM 2090, [Loop] 494, [FM] 1485 and Ford Road. A short-term goal is having the deputies direct traffic. I will employ an active patrol enforcement and other means to address the drug problem in the residential areas. I am pro Second Amendment, but bullets falling on residential homes is a significant public safety issue. I will take the necessary steps to stop this from happening.

2. What do you believe is the most important function constables play in their community?

The most important function of the constable is to abide by the law. The constable should not be involved in covering up crimes.

3. What is your background in law enforcement?

I am currently working as a peace officer. [I have] 25 years of law enforcement experience ... in license and weight, narcotics, code enforcement and patrol. I have a master peace officer license; I have also worked as a chief of police where I designed emergency management plans; [and] I have taught for 13 years at the El Paso Community College. My master's degree is from Texas A&M [University] and my bachelor's is from the University of Texas El Paso.

Bryan Skero (R)

Years in district: more than 25

Website:
www.skeroforconstable.com

If elected, I would: restore integrity, transparency and ethical leadership back into Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. For far too long, the good ‘ole boy network in East Montgomery [County] has brought nothing but corruption and unethical behavior in the public offices. As the taxpayers, our voices have been ignored and our tax dollars have been misused all over the precinct. Our property taxes increase every year, but our East Montgomery communities are not any safer or cleaner.

1. What is the biggest public safety challenge your precinct faces today, and how do you plan to tackle it?

There are several public safety challenges in my precinct, but if I had to pick one it would be the dangerously high level of drugs and the crime it brings to Precinct 4. Drugs affect all parts of the community as either source, transit or destination. It’s an endless battle to stop for narcotics interdiction officers such as myself, but I could at least disrupt the drugs and crime tremendously in East Montgomery County.

2. What do you believe is the most important function constables play in their community?

The major duties of a county constable are: civil process such as writs, subpoenas, temporary restraining orders, anything involving civil process as given by the justice of the peace. Serve as bailiff for Justice of the Peace Court, and perform various law enforcement functions including traffic enforcement, investigations, etc.

3. What is your background in law enforcement?

I currently serve as detective of the narcotics criminal interdiction and K9 unit at Harris County [Precinct 3 Constable's Office]. I have been a Texas peace officer for over 15 years. I am a Texas advanced peace officer and will receive my master peace officer within a couple of months. I am 100% committed to the disruption of narcotics possession and trafficking along with illegal alien smuggling and human trafficking. Narcotics interdiction is what I have been focusing on for most of my career. My Precinct 3 crime interdiction unit received the Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for the most narcotics [seized] in 2018. I have received numerous recognition for outstanding service and dedication to law enforcement and public safety ...

By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



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