Constable Mitchell Clark Connects with Citizens through FBBA and FBCC

Business, Community Organizations, Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Government and Politics
Constable Clark receives Certificate of Appreciation from Jennifer Welp, President of the Flour Bluff Business Association

     Newly elected Nueces County Pct. 2 Constable Mitchell Clark made the rounds this month in Flour Bluff.  On April 12, 2017, Clark spoke to the members of the Flour Bluff Business Association at the regular meeting held at noon at Funtrackers in Flour Bluff.  Five days later, he addressed the members of the Flour Bluff Citizens Council at their general meeting held on the evening of April 17 at Grace Community Church on Flour Bluff Drive.  Since taking office, Constable Clark has been busy making changes at his department, and he is working to get the word out.  Clark reminded both groups that the constable’s office has historically been known as the “people’s police department.”  Precinct 2 covers Flour Bluff, Southside Corpus Christi, and the area in and around Chapman Ranch.  “My vision is to get back into community policing,” Clark said.

     Clark explained that the role of the constable is to keep the peace.   As a peace officer, he therefore has the statutory duties and authority of a peace officer within his precinct. As an exception to this general rule, five categories of peace officers, constables among them, may make an arrest outside their jurisdiction without a warrant for any crimes committed in their presence or view.   “The perception is that all we do is serve papers, and we do.  As a matter of fact, we make the county quite a bit of money by serving anywhere from 1000 to 1400 papers per month. In addition, we are available to assist you with non-emergency kinds of calls.  If you have an emergency, you should call 911.  Otherwise, call our office at 937-6306.  We are available 24/7.  After 5:00 p.m., our phones rotate over to the dispatcher, so we will still get the call.  I am here to serve you.”

Constable Clark addresses citizens at the Flour Bluff Citizens Council general meeting at Grace Community Church

     The constable explained that he has several new programs in the works.  One program, called Walk with the Constable, is one that is designed to get neighbors together and actually walk their neighborhood while listening to their concerns.  “Call us.  We’ll do it any day at any time.  You just let us know, and we’ll be there.”  Another, Talk with the Constable, will all citizens to meet and have a conversation with Clark and his deputies at his office, which is located in the Ronnie Polston County Building on Compton Road in Flour Bluff.  “My social media will be up and running soon so that we can communicate that way, too.  I want to hear your concerns.”

     Clark told the FBCC about other programs that he is initiating.  “I am working on a gun safety class just for women called Guns and Roses,” said Clark.  He also told the group that he is going to spend more time at the schools giving age-appropriate talks regarding safety and protection.  “We have badges for the little ones and comic books for all age levels.  All of this is at no cost to the taxpayer.  I have had these items donated.”  For the adults in the community, he will offer a Constable’s Citizen Police Academy, which includes ride-alongs.

      “We are even making changes in our uniforms,” said Clark.  “We are going back to Stetson hats, which have also been donated.  No tax dollars will be used for our uniform changes.”

     Constable Clark reiterated to both groups his willingness to work with the citizens of Precinct 2, the Corpus Christi Police Department, and all other law enforcement entities to keep the peace.  “We answer all calls for service.”

NOTE:  Constable Clark is a regular contributor to The Paper Trail News.  His articles can be accessed by searching the site.

Please follow and like us:
error

Meet Your Constable

Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Government and Politics
Nueces County Pct. 2 Constable Mitchell Clark

     After writing a couple of articles for The Paper Trail on the history of constables, I thought it might be time to introduce myself to the people I serve. After graduating from King High School in Corpus Christi, I went on to join the United States Marine Corps.  During my four-year active duty enlistment, I served as a military policeman with a specialty in corrections and eventually was selected for the highly prestigious Marine Corps Drill Instructor School at San Diego.  After graduation, I served as a Drill Instructor in 2nd Battalion helping train young men to become Marines. After obtaining the rank of Sergeant, I received an honorable discharge.

     Upon my return to Corpus Christi, I enrolled in college and began my career as a deputy constable. While attending school full time, I also worked full time as a police officer in the Nueces County Constable operations, serving in Precincts, 1, 2, and 8.  I received an Associate of Science in Police Science from Del Mar College, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Corpus Christi State University, and a Juris Doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law.  Currently, I am the elected Constable for Pct. 2 Nueces County, Texas.  I have over 35 years experience as a police officer in Nueces County Constable operations serving as a deputy constable, captain, and legal adviser.  I have been licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) since 1981 and am currently licensed as a Master Peace Officer by TCOLE.  I also belong to the Texas Justice of the Peace and Constable Association.

     After graduating Law School and receiving my law license, I began a long career as a trial attorney, working on cases across the United States but never forgetting my first love, law enforcement.  I continued working in the constable operations on a non-paid basis while practicing law.  On November 8, 2016, I was elected to a four -term by the citizens of Precinct 2.  As an attorney, I have 25 plus years civil trial practice with emphasis on commercial litigation, business litigation, business formations, and contracts.  I am licensed by the Texas Supreme Court and the Tennessee Supreme Court.  I am admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, all Texas State Courts, and all Tennessee State Courts.

     I have always enjoyed being in Law Enforcement.  Being elected Constable was certainly a highlight of my career.  I take this position seriously – with a dose of humor at times.  I am committed to providing the citizens of Precinct 2 a safe environment in which to work and live by using technology, equipment, and my highly trained officers and administrative staff.

     We are initiating two innovative programs, Walk with the Constable and Talk with the Constable.  Walk with the Constable has the Constable and his officers going into the neighborhoods to meet the people, listen to their concerns, and devise and implement ways to help resolve those concerns.  Talk with the Constable will utilize various social media to communicate with the citizens.

     The Department serves the citizens of Nueces County who live in the Flour Bluff, Southside, and Chapman Ranch areas, some of the fastest growing areas in the county. The Department provides safety and protection to its citizens via community-based policing and pro-active law enforcement efforts.  My department and I are here to help.  Call or come by anytime if you need assistance.

Nueces Co. Constable Precinct 2
10110 Compton Rd
Corpus Christi, TX 78418

361-937-6306

Semper Fi,

Constable Mitchell Clark

 

Up Next………..What’s a COP?

Please follow and like us:
error

The Constable’s Corner: Of Kings and Constables

Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Government and Politics, History

Welcome to the Constable’s Corner.  This is the first in what will be a series of articles from Mitchell Clark, the duly elected Constable, Pct. 2, Nueces County, Texas, on various topics of interest which relate to the constable operations in Precinct 2. 

King Alfred the Great successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England. He reigned from 871-899 A.D. and is credited with establishing the first constables in Wessex.

     For the past four years, television audiences have been captivated by Vikings, a made-for-television series on the History Channel. Viewers have “witnessed” the bloody battles between the Vikings and the European monarchs that played out during the 8th century.  As the fifth season begins, viewers will get a glimpse into the life of Alfred, son of Aethwulf and grandson of Egbert (both kings of Wessex), a man who would one day be called “Alfred the Great.” This mighty king of Wessex changed his country forever.

     According to the BBC History site, aside from successfully running the Vikings out of Wessex, he built up the defenses of his kingdom, reorganized his army, built a series of well-defended settlements across southern England, established a navy for use against the Danish raiders who continued to harass the coast, and advocated justice and order and established a code of laws and a reformed coinage. “He had a strong belief in the importance of education and learnt Latin in his late thirties. He then arranged, and himself took part in, the translation of books from Latin to Anglo-Saxon.”  In addition, Alfred the Great established the office of constable, an office that exists today in some fashion all over the world – even in Nueces County.

     Historically, the title “Constable” comes from the Latin stabuli , which means “attendant to the stables, literally count of the stable” and originated from the Roman Empire.  The constable was the officer responsible for keeping the horses of a lord or monarch. The West European term “constable” itself was adopted, via the Normans, as konostaulos (Grand Constable) in the Komnenian and Palaiologan periods, when it became a high military office of dignity. The title was imported to the monarchies of medieval Europe, and in many countries developed into a high military rank and great officer of state.  Such was the case of the Constable of France (Connétable de France) who was the commander-in-chief of all royal armed forces and second to the king until Prime Minister Cardinal Richelieu abolished the charge in 1627.

Historically, a constable could also refer to a castellan, the officer charged with the defense of a castle. Even today, there is a Constable of the Tower of London.

     Later Roman administrative titles were used by Charlemagne in developing his empire.  The position of Constable, along with the similar office of Marshal, spread throughout the emerging states of Western Europe during this period.  In most medieval nations, the constable was the highest-ranking officer of the army, and was responsible for the overseeing of martial law.  Following Alfred the Great’s lead, the office of the constable was introduced in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066 and was responsible for the keeping and maintenance of the king’s armaments and those of the villages as a measure of protecting individual settlements throughout the country.

     The system of policing by unpaid parish constables continued in England until the 19th century.  In the London metropolitan area, it was ended by the creation of the Metropolitan Police by the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 and by the County Police Constabularies outside London by the County Police Act 1839. Together these led to all counties having various constabularies of full-time professionals.

Early Constables in England serving a warrant
Early Constables in England serving a warrant

    Europe moved west, and the Constable became the keeper of the peace in Colonial America. David Johnson writes in his book, American Law Enforcement: A History, “More than 350 years ago, America’s first known system of law enforcement was established in Boston.  As soon as colonists had settled there in 1630, local ordinances had allowed for constables to be appointed. Soon after, in April 1631, the townspeople formed a “watch” made up of six watchmen, one constable, and several volunteers who patrolled at night, walking the rounds. 

     “Initially run by a combination of obligatory and voluntary participation, the 17th century watch typically reported fires, maintained order in the streets, raised the “hue and cry” (pursuing suspected criminals with loud cries to raise alarm), and captured and arrested lawbreakers. Constables had similar tasks, which included maintaining health and sanitation and bringing suspects and witnesses to court—frequently for such conduct as working on the Sabbath, cursing in public places, and failing to pen animals properly.”

Prohibition of Tobacco from The Code of 1650, Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut edited by Silas Andrus, 1830
Prohibition of Tobacco from The Code of 1650, Being a Compilation of the Earliest Laws and Orders of the General Court of Connecticut edited by Silas Andrus, 1830

     Interestingly, Constables can be found, even today, abroad in such places as Hong Kong, Denmark, Finland, Norway, United Kingdom, India, Channel Islands, Australia,  and Canada.

    In the United States, the role of a constable varied from state to state as the new nation formed.  Then, in 1823, the famous Texas Constable was born!

Up Next!……….Part Two

“The Texas Constable”

References:

  1.  Alastair, Bruce.  Keepers of the Kingdom. New York, NY: Vendome Press, 1999.
  2. “Constable,” Encyclopedia Britannica, 20 July 1998. www.britannica.com/topic/constable. Access date: March 6, 2017.
  3. “Constable.”  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. www.en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Constable&oldid=767456104.  Access date: March 6, 2017.
  4. Johnson, David R. American Law Enforcement: A History. Wheeling, IL: Forum Press, 1981.
  5. Jones, A.H.M., ed. The Later Roman Empire 284-602. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 1964.
  6. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford University Press, 1991.
  7. Slater, Stephen. The Complete Book of Heraldry. London: Lorenz Books, 2002.

NOTE:  Nueces County Pct. 2 Constable Mitchell Clark can be contacted at the Nueces County Building in Flour Bluff, located at 10110 Compton Road, Corpus Christi, TX 78418.  361.937.6306    Constable Clark’s door is always open.  He is there to serve you!

Please follow and like us:
error

New Ambulance in Flour Bluff: A Gift That Can Be Opened but Not Used by All

Corpus Christi, Flour Bluff, Front Page, Opinion/Editorial

20160628_150923_resized (1)

     Nueces County E.S.D. #2 (Flour Bluff Fire Department) will commission its first ambulance (M95) today at 9:00 a.m. The $35,000 vehicle, bought with ESD#2 tax dollars, is a fully licensed and accredited vehicle and will be manned by off-duty firefighter/EMT and firefighter paramedics from different agencies in the area, all who fall under the same medical director and medical protocols as the City of Corpus Christi Fire Department.  For the primary ambulance to be put into service, a back-up vehicle had to be purchased for an additional $25,000. With the purchase of a stretcher, heart monitor, medical supplies, narcotics, medicine vault, oxygen tanks, radios front and back, a laptop, and various other amenities required by law,  the total cost to put the mobile emergency unit on the road came in at around $100,000.  What a great gift for the Flour Bluff and Padre Island citizens!  At least it could be.  As of this writing, it appears that the City of Corpus Christi will only allow the ambulance to answer calls outside of the city limits unless specifically requested by a CCFD officer as per the current mutual aid agreement. This means that the Flour Bluff and Padre Island residents who actually paid for the ambulance with their tax dollars will receive zero benefit until the ongoing legal issues with the city are resolved.

     Having M95 in service would have been extremely helpful a few weeks ago when CCFD Medic 13 on Waldron Road in Flour Bluff received a call for a person having chest pains on Yorktown Boulevard, just across the street from the ESD#2 fire station where M95 is housed.  Before the city ambulance could pull out of the firehouse, another call came in.  This time it was for a child hit by a car.  A decision was made to attend to the child first.  A second ambulance had to be called from another fire station much farther away to respond to the heart-attack victim.  Officials from ESD#2 said that multiple calls in a single response area are common on a weekly – and sometimes daily – basis. While a fire truck may also respond to a medical emergency, only ambulances carry the required narcotics to treat patients suffering a medical emergency.

     At the height of the tourist season, the existence of another ambulance in the areas of Flour Bluff and Padre Island could certainly prove to be a welcome gift for all – that is, if the ambulance can be dispatched immediately when needed. In the month of July 2016, 25% of the EMS calls in the Flour Bluff community were answered by a unit other than Medic 13, the unit assigned to the Flour Bluff area. Currently CCFD has eleven ambulances responding to calls throughout the city.  In addition, ESD#1 (Annaville) supplies two ambulances. Still, both departments struggle at times to meet the EMS needs of the City of Corpus Christi in the event of multiple calls.

     At one point, this fully stocked, licensed,  ready-to-roll vehicle was to be used as a “second out” vehicle.  That means that regardless of the proximity of the call to the ESD#2 station, a Corpus Christi Fire Department ambulance will be dispatched first.  Even if a person gets hit by a car directly in front of the ESD#2 station, Medic 13 will be dispatched from the Waldron Road station three and a half miles away with a school zone and three red lights along the way.  Negotiations between ESD#2 and the city have created a roadblock for M95 to be used in the best way for the citizenry, that is to function as Nueces County ESD #1 (Annaville Fire Department) operates.

   Annaville FD currently has two ambulances that answer calls within the city limits. The primary Annaville ambulance is a “first out as the closest unit” vehicle, while the other ambulance is second out to a CCFD unit.  No one at ESD#2 seems to know why the rules for the Flour Bluff units would not be the same as they are for Annaville.  All that ESD#2 Chief Dale Scott has been told by the CCFD is that he must wait on clarification from the city’s legal department about the Flour Bluff unit answering calls within the city limits.  In the meantime, many Flour Bluff medical emergencies have to be answered by ambulances responding from as far away as the CCFD stations at Airline and Gollihar, Weber and Saratoga,  Kostoryz, or Padre Island.

ESD#2 Station is highlighted in yellow at the bottom of the map.

     There are certainly enough 9-1-1 calls coming in to warrant full use of M95.  MetroCom, the local 911 dispatch team, serves a population of 340,000 citizens in Nueces County, which includes 302,000 Corpus Christi residents.  According to the MetroCom page on the city website, in 1993, “Nueces County commissioned a communications study, which resulted in MetroCom. The study called for a development of a single Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for all 911 emergency calls and dispatch functions within the areas served by the City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County.”  On average, the call takers answer 600,000 calls and dispatch 466,000 first-responder vehicles per year. With that many calls, it seems the new ambulance would be viewed as a huge asset for the whole city, especially for the citizens of Flour Bluff and Padre Island, the folks whose tax dollars paid for this additional medic unit.  Until the legal issues are worked out with the city, M95 will only be allowed to answer calls in the unincorporated areas of the county, even if the call comes in from the house across the street from the ESD#2 Fire Station where M95 is housed.

Please follow and like us:
error

WANTED: Precinct Chairmen for Nueces County

Corpus Christi, Front Page, Government and Politics

 

dan-hogan

 

Dan Hogan is a precinct chairman for Nueces County and a community activist for Flour Bluff.  The county is in great need of Precinct Chairs for this election.  Read his explanation below to see if it something that might be of interest to you.  Then, contact him by phone or email.  His contact information is in the last paragraph of the article.  This is a great way to make a difference in your own precinct.

 

 

 

 

     The smallest political subdivision is the precinct, a collection of neighborhoods or census tracts.  These precincts, when combined, become legislative districts for educational institutions or public services, cities, and counties.  When meeting as a group, the collective 120 or so precinct chairs for Nueces County comprise the Executive Committee for their Texas county.  These county committees hold county caucus to select State Committees from which National Committees are sourced.  All these committees are tasked with sourcing good candidates – that represent and advance their party positions and values – to run for public office and helping elect them to office through organized volunteer efforts to get their supporters to the polls and help raise funds to increase voter awareness of their candidates and issues.

     Precinct Chairmen in precincts where the winner of the gubernatorial election was of their party are the Presiding Judges for municipal, county, state and federal elections if they choose to work the elections as an election official.  The parties organize and pay for primary elections.  The Precinct Chair whose candidate lost the gubernatorial election is the Alternate Judge for municipal, city, county, state and federal elections.  This Judge and alternate staffing provides a natural check and balance to ensure ballot integrity.  The Presiding Judge has the powers of a Circuit Judge in matters pertaining to their polling place for Election Day and serves a two year term.  Staffing, work assignments, and legal determinations are the purview of the Presiding Judge in the application of law and smooth functioning of the polling place for Election Day.

    An active Precinct Chairman, in addition to or in furtherance of the above, will work with assisting candidates or issue advocates, deliver campaign materials and yard signs, as well as do candidate introductions through block walking, door drops, coffees, town hall meetings, campaign events, phone banks, etc.  Attendance at County Executive Meetings, State, and National Meetings, caucus and conventions are regular activities.

     There are as many different levels of involvement as there are individuals.  These are elective positions that, when unopposed for office, are not listed on the ballot and, when vacant, may be filled by appointment by their executive committees for the remainder of the unexpired two-year term.

     The next general election is Tuesday, November 8, 2016.  The Precinct Chair acting as a Presiding Judge, PJ, will hire two or three election clerks and see that they take the required online training provided by the State of Texas.  The PJ and alternate will take a seven-hour training course prior to the election.  On Election Day the PJ will arrive at the polling place up to an hour prior to the 7:00 a.m. opening to set up equipment, schedule the clerks as to arrivals about thirty minutes prior to opening and thirty minutes after 7 p.m. closing, and then deliver selective polling equipment and the election results to the county court house to complete a 15-hour day.  Election workers, judges, and clerks, receive about $9.44 per hour.

     One election clerk position is available at the Ronnie H. Polston County Building, 10110 Compton Road, CC, TX for the November 8, 2016 general election.

     Time spent on campaigning is really open-ended and entirely at the discretion of the individual Precinct Chair.  All parties need Precinct Chairs.  These volunteers are about as close to grass roots politics as you get.  For more information please contact the Nueces County Republican Party, 4639 Corona Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78411 361-994-9317 or 18th Precinct Republican Chair Dan Hogan, danhogan@mail.com.

 

Please follow and like us:
error