By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – For the second time in three months, the Palo Pinto County Commissioners Court appointed a new constable to fill a void left by a retiring veteran. Commissioners recognized Precinct 3 Constable Noah Bragg – who will retire after 29 years of service at that position – and appointed Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Santifer to take his place.
Bragg – who will remain in office through Jan. 31 – joins former Precinct 4 Constable of 24 years James Roberts as the two Palo Pinto County constables to announce their retirement in the last few months.
After almost three decades of law enforcement on the west side of Possum Kingdom Lake, Bragg seemed humble as he joked with the Index after receiving his award.
“I’m not much on pomp and circumstance,” he said with a chuckle. “I just do my job. I’m just happy I got to the point where I could retire. Sometimes you’re not that lucky in this profession.
“It’s been a good career. I’ve worked with a lot of good people. I’ve really enjoyed it. I kind of hate to be leaving, but as you get older everything works to your (disadvantage). Your vision dims, your hearing dims... I just got tired of people sneaking up on me.”
Bragg’s story of law enforcement of the wild western bank of PK Lake is the tale of a long climb. He said when he first started out there, he was essentially all alone on the western edge of the county.
“They referred to it as ‘No man’s land,’ literally,” he said. “It’s cut off over there by the lake. I was the only one over there. There were thieves over there carrying off stuff by the truckload.”
Not only was Bragg alone, but in the beginning, according to Sheriff Ira Mercer, he was also grossly underpaid. But he remained a stalwart presence.