Lately, I have been around a lot of law enforcement and working closely with Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap’s team. This caused me to remember something that occurred maybe 6 years ago that changed my opinion of those who serve with the various constables’ offices.
For those who are animal advocates, it is easy to point a finger at law enforcement for not doing more about crimes against animals. Even when something good is announced I see the trolls who have to say things like, “Well, why don’t the police do their job and take those people to jail?” That is one of the milder comments. People’s frustration boils over and it is always easier to point the finger than it is to become involved in bringing about change. But, I digress.
Back when I traveled the Hardy Toll Road daily, I regularly had to watch for constables set up to ticket speeders like me. I would condescendingly ask friends: “Just what is a constable?” “Why can’t we just have police?” etc. Let’s face it when you speed you have to blame those who write the tickets!
One day my opinions were changed, but not before I moaned like a child for ten minutes. What follows is a story about constables’ deputies that I personally witnessed.
This occurred while I owned FedEx Home Routes and would go up to the North terminal near Intercontinental Airport each morning and assist my drivers in getting loaded and out. That meant that usually I would be up around 0400 and would leave the terminal around 0800 to 0900. Traffic could be bad, but if you took the Hardy Toll Road back into Houston it was manageable.
During the time around Christmas we called “Peak” when everyone is sending packages everyone at FedEx works from early to very late every single day and everyone is very tired. One morning it was cold and pouring down rain so the traffic was not the best. On a fairly long stretch without an exit I encountered traffic moving at best, 5 or 6 mph and I was supremely annoyed. It was probably around 09:30 so there should not have been a lot of traffic. I was unhappy, to put it mildly.
As I navigated passed car after car, I saw three constables in their cars with lights on moving VERY SLOWLY. I immediately knew everyone was too scared to pass the constables and it pissed me off. Being alone, I complained loudly to myself. As I got a bit closer I could see one officer’s car was directly behind another and they were both straddling the shoulder and the far right lane. There is a wall to the far right. Situated to the left of these two cars and in what would be the space to between them was the third officer’s car. Driving along at 4 -5 miles an hour max. They were taking up a total of two lanes and the shoulder due to this odd placement. My first thought was “What are these jerks doing?”
As the rain kept pouring I was able to slowly move far enough through the traffic that I was at a point just to the left rear of the outside officer’s car. When I finally saw what was happening I realized I was the real jerk!
These constables were using their cars to corral and protect a dog that had somehow gotten onto Hardy Toll Road with cars flying by at 75 mph and no way to get off. The poor dog was soaked. They were using their cars to protect it and to slowly “herd” it off of the tollway where they could get it help. They were being extremely careful and protective of a soaked, cold, and scared animal.
I don’t know which constable’s precinct these officers were a part of, but they were total winners and I hope one or two of them know that they made a difference in an animal’s life AND changed a person’s attitude about constables forever.
Having now worked with Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap’s office, deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and police officers involved in animal cruelty law enforcement, I have seen regularly how much these officers (people) care. They are not giving lip service to protecting animals from people. If I tried to name them all I would slight someone and I do not wish to slight a single one.
Some of these officers go beyond the work they do “on the clock” and can also be found assisting animals and animal advocacy groups on their own time. Many can be found working with the district attorney’s office and others in law enforcement to bring about changes to the laws.
They are also involved in education and, frankly, they are not waving flags and saying, “Look what I did!” They are humble, caring, servants of the public. Along with them are those who work within the DA’s office to ensure that those who harm animals are brought to justice and that laws are strengthened to ensure offenders get to spend more time “in time out” pondering what they have done wrong.
The next time you see one of them at least say, “Thank you for your service!”
The image of three constables working together to save a cold, wet dog will forever be etched in my brain.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. You are #ForTheAnimals