By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – Palo Pinto County commissioners appointed sheriff’s deputy Randy Hunter as the new constable for Precinct 4 in a regular meeting Tuesday morning. Hunter’s family and recently retired Pct. 4 Constable James Roberts were on hand as County Judge David Nicklas swore in Hunter to his new post.
“I’m nervous and excited,” Hunter told the Index after the meeting. “It’s going to be a new experience. I’m just going to continue doing the things I have been doing as a deputy. I’m just trying to help be part of the solution and make things better around here.”
A graduate of Tarleton Police Academy, Hunter began his career with the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Ofice in 1989, before spending 14 years with the Mineral Wells Police Department, 11 of which he spent as a school resource officer and the other three as a patrol corporal. He also served as a patrol corporal in subsequent stints with Springtown and Vernon police. In 2006, he returned to PPSO, where he has stayed until his recent promotion.
Roberts, who has worked with Hunter for 24 years, said he thinks Pct. 4 will be in great hands under Hunter’s watch. Hunter also spoke highly of his predecessor, calling Roberts a mentor and friend.
“I’ve seen him do a lot and learned a lot from him,” he said. “He’s been a great asset and a great friend.”
Nicklas also spoke highly of the county’s newest constable.
“Randy’s a well–known law enforcement officer in the county,” he said. “He’s a trained individual. He can just move right in a do all the functions of a constable.”
As far as a replacement deputy, Sheriff Ira Mercer said his office will look internally first to fill the void left by Hunter. He added if that does not yield the proper results, then they will look outside for applicants. Like others in Palo Pinto Tuesday, Mercer also spoke highly of his former deputy.