The Mineral Wells Index recently asked candidates running in the five contested county races to provide information and answer – within 300 words or less – questions in order to help voters decide who to support and vote for.
The primary elections are March 3, and early voting begins February 18. Only Republicans are running local races. There are no Democratic candidates seeking a county office.
Here are responses from Frank Baker, seeking the office of Palo Pinto County Constable Pct. 5:
Name: Frank Baker
Employment: I have over 14 years of full-time employment by Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Dept. for the past two years and I have over 12 years of previous full-time employment with MWPD, Dublin PD, and Erath County Sheriff’s Dept.
Family: My wife’s name is Jeanne Baker and we have five children: Brooke, Conner, Chloe, Claire and Karli.
Education: Graduate of MWHS class of 1995, U.S. Army (Military Intelligence Analyst, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Sharpshooter). Police training: Weatherford College Police Academy, Rapid Response to Active shooter training, Active Shooter training, Defense Tactics, FEMA training courses, Defensive driving courses).
QUESTION 1: What experience, qualifications, training and other background qualifies you to be constable and makes you the best candidate for the position?
After high school, I joined the Army where I served as an Intelligence Analyst. As an analyst, I was responsible for our troops knowing what the enemy was doing or capable of doing. I spent a lot of time overseas on Middle East deployments with my four years in the U.S. Army.
I’m currently serving on the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Department as a patrol deputy. I’ve been in law enforcement for the last 14-plus years with full-time service. I’ve served civil process with a sheriff’s department for the last 14-plus years so I am familiar with our civil duties.
I’ll bring my officer presence and my demeanor with how I handle things and handle people. I look forward to serving the citizens as your Constable and will also bring my working relationship with our County Officials, the Sheriff’s Department, and our other law enforcement agencies. I am qualified to be your Constable because not only do I hold an active peace officer license with the state of Texas I also have the viable experience necessary to get the job done.
QUESTION 2: Please describe the primary, and then secondary, duties and roles of a county constable. What does a constable do?
Civil process is a large portion of your Constable’s duties. It advises citizens that complaints have been filed against them or about court actions they may be involved in as witnesses. A Constable has tremendous responsibility to follow the rules and codes that govern the service and execution of these documents. Failure to follow legal requirements could delay court proceedings and create liability for the county and myself.
A lot of cases our courts are dealing with are CPS related. The Constable office will also be serving evictions that come through the court. I will also serve in the courtroom as a Bailiff with JP court and on a rotating schedule with district court at the county courthouse.
QUESTION 3: Why do you want to be constable for Pct. 5 of Palo Pinto County?
I’m proud to call Mineral Wells my home. I’ve been on patrol for the last 14-plus years now and I would like to serve in a different way. I know you have pride in your Constable’s office and I’ll have bravery, determination, and faithfulness to get the job done. I will serve with the professionalism and integrity that it demands. I want to serve our citizens as the next Constable of Pct. 5 because I believe I can help others and will make a difference.
QUESTION 4: What are the biggest challenges faced in this office related to the roles and duties described above, and how have/will you address those?
I believe one of the biggest things hurting our community is the breakdown of the family. Whether it’s through drugs, alcohol or divorce, I know our families are having a hard time. CPS and our courts are dealing with an alarming rise in cases because of these issues affecting our community. I know I came from a broken home and alcoholism was one of the problems. Drug trafficking also poses a threat to our community and causes all sorts of problems. Along with our other agencies I would assist in defeating crime’s associated with drugs and the violence it brings to our community. I look forward to serving the citizens of this county. With a bright future ahead of us and a rich historic past, Mineral Wells is home, and I am honored and excited to be a part of it.