Pct. 4 lays off 100 employees

March 23, 2011 7:46:16 PM PDT
Harris County Pct. 4 announced on Wednesday it has finalized its plans to lay off about 100 workers to meet its reduced budget.

We first reported on Tuesday that Constable Ron Hickman was considering laying off the workers.

"There are a great many questions about the impacts of these layoffs on personnel and our ability to provide a level of service to our constituents. Much of that will be answered after the dust settles and we have an opportunity to adjust and reorganize," Hickman wrote in a prepared statement. "We are looking for as many opportunities to find efficiencies as possible in providing our services. It is with great regret that we affect schools and communities who have contributed greatly to both this department and our area."

Precinct 4 has already instituted an across the board reduction in pay and are reducing vehicle and operating expenses.

All eight constables in Harris County have had to make cuts, and even Pct. 8 Constable Bill Bailey decided to retire instead of laying off a 13th employee.

We surveyed the offices of all the constables to see how they are coping with the budget cuts:

Constable 1 Jack Abercia
Laid off 50 people, which includes approximately 44 uniformed deputies.

Constable 2 Gary Freeman
Laid off nine deputies, which all worked for Galena Park ISD. Galena Park expected to hire on deputies.

Constable 3 Ken Jones
Instituted furloughs. Took 124 deputies from 40 hours a week down to 32 hours a week.

Constable 4 Ron Hickman
Plans not finalized -- could lay off of 100 people, cancellation of school patrol contracts.

Constable 5 Phil Camus
Laid off 18 deputies, five police support, and one dispatcher. Took 107 personnel and reduced them to 32 hours a week. Took seven sergeants and demoted them to deputies to patrol streets.

Constable 6 Victor Trevino
No layoffs. Cut various line items, including uniforms and car repairs. Eliminated two frozen positions.

Constable 7 May Walker
One captain retired. Put 23 deputies to 32 hours. Eliminated car repairs and supplies.

Constable 8 Bill Bailey
Constable retiring. Laid off 12 employees.