2 new deputies added in Montgomery County including one for ‘dangerous’ Lake Conroe
Montgomery County commissioners agreed this week to fund two new positions for the Precinct 1 Constable’s Office to boost lake safety and courthouse security.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Robert Walker and Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley agreed to split $175,814 to fund a new Marine Division deputy. Both commissioners agree Lake Conroe is dangerous and boosting patrol is critical. With the new staffing, the division will have seven members including deputies, a sergeant and a lieutenant.
While Cash said Lake Conroe continues to rank either one or two as the deadliest lake in Texas per Texas Parks and Wildlife, the number of drownings and boat crashes has declined. To date this year, there have been two drownings, both in July. In 2021, there were five drownings reported on Lake Conroe with a sixth death related to a boat crash.
“(Lake Conroe) is really dangerous,” Walker said. “Not all are our citizens, but the majority are.”
Riley said boosting lake safety is key.
“We’ve got to get that lake covered,” Riley said.
Additionally Walker will fund a full-time bailiff for the Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace courtrooms in Willis and Montgomery. The total cost for that position including salary, benefits, vehicle and equipment will be $175,814.
The court also agreed to immediately fund the replacement of two motors for a lake patrol boat that has been out of service since September. The total cost for the two Suzuki motors will be $48,988.
“Our lake is busy,” said Precinct 1 Constable Philip Cash. “It’s getting busier every year.”
Cash noted the San Jacinto River Authority funds three positions for his department. However, the authority board denied Cash’s request to fund the fourth position.
“We don’t want to fill the jail with Class C warrants but we do want to get them into see the judge,” Cash said adding in the last several years his department has help dropped the number of outstanding warrants from 20,000 to 5,000.
In a final request, Cash also asked the court to fund two new deputies to create a patrol division. However, commissioners said there just wasn’t money available to fund additional deputies for his department.