New constable sets eyes on community outreach

In his first four months of office, Precinct 2 Constable Michael Torres has focused on improving the constable’s office and community outreach.

“The first four months have been really challenging for us,” Torres said. “We’re trying to update our office, bring it back into the 21st century.”

Torres said the office is upgrading its technology and installing laptops in constable vehicles.

Newly elected Constable Michael Torres has worked with Lobo design students to revamp the official patch. (photo by Lesly Deleon)

Not long after taking office, Torres implemented a uniform for deputies for the first time in 40 years.

“Having a police presence in the community has been really well,” Torres said. “People have been really receptive to us and they enjoy seeing us out there.”

Instead of having the standard patch on the uniform, in February Torres collaborated with Lehman High School to have students design possible patches.

Torres then posted the designs in a public Facebook poll to let the community pick the uniform’s patch, and he announced the winner a week later.

Dressed in their uniforms with the new patches, Torres and constable deputies met with the Lehman students who designed the patches on Friday.

Torres presented Lauren Reeves, graphic and floral design teacher, and Lori Smith, criminal justice teacher, with a plaque. He also presented the student whose design won the public poll with a plaque.

Torres hosted a similar poll with three designs by Hays High School students for the deputies’ vehicles and announced the winner in early April.

“As of right now, the graphic is at a design shop and they’re working out the details, measurement for the vehicle and the cost,” Torres said.

There’s no set time frame for when the project will be complete but Torres said he hopes it’s within a month.

As part of the constable’s community outreach, Torres and deputies will be attending Hays CISD’s 50th anniversary parade Saturday.

“With the end of the school year coming up, we’re going have to sit down during the summer and try to be creative and see what we can come up with for next year to keep the students involved,” Torres said. “That’s going to be one of my priorities.”

Torres said he is thankful to those who voted for him and had confidence in his leadership.

Torres said he plans to run for re-election when his current term expires in 2020. 

“That’s why I’m here, that way the community can see how much I am involved with them, hopefully they’ll want to keep me in office,” Torres said. “I’ll be here as long as the community wants me.”

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