While constables add another layer of law enforcement to protect communities, their core responsibility is to serve civil and criminal paperwork, like eviction notices for the courts.
Harris County Precincts 4 and 5 are the state's largest constable offices. Each serves tens of thousands of warrants, every year.
Before a deputy knocks on a door, researchers investigate the circumstances to help prevent routine business from turning into a tragic surprise.
"You never know what situation will turn bad," Constable Ron Hickman said. "You don't know if it's that one last straw that provides the trigger for some kind of emotional outburst, some kind of renegade reaction."
In 1998, Precinct 4 deputy constable David Martin was shot twice and nearly killed while serving a warrant.
He never returned to duty and died, recently, due to complications from the attack.
KRIV FOX 26 4261 Southwest Freeway Houston, TX 77027