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‘Corporal’ added to law enforcement roster in Travis County

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 by Seth Smalley

On Tuesday, the Travis County Commissioners Court approved the addition of a new “corporal” position, and its related funding, to the existing lineup of titles in law enforcement in the county.

In terms of rank, the position will be situated between senior deputy and sergeant. Instead of hiring new corporals, existing senior deputies in the constable offices and rangers in the park ranger service will be reclassified as corporals.

The total financial impact of the new classifications will be $62,685 for the 2022 fiscal year. For the calendar year, it comes to $83,580. For Constable Precinct 4, which the county is specifically being asked to fund, the total is $9,660 for the fiscal year, and $13,430 annualized.

“The rationale for having a corporal title is that, in between the ranks of senior deputy and sergeant, there’s kind of a big gap … and sergeant is really the first line supervisor position,” said Todd Osborn with the County Compensation Office, briefing commissioners. “The idea is that the corporal title would be inserted between the senior deputy and sergeant, and that would serve as the training ground for potential sergeants and would also allow expanded coverage.”

Each constable precinct and the park ranger service is requesting two corporal positions per office. While precincts 1, 2, 3 and 5 and the park ranger service indicated their abilities to internally fund the position reclassifications, Precinct 4 could not.

“The (peace officer pay scale) working group is asking Commissioners Court if they would consider funding Precinct 4’s request to reclassify the two corporal positions,” Osborn said. “Fairly early in the conversations, the parties involved decided that, rather than asking for new positions, they would ask to simply reclassify existing senior deputy positions.”

The item initially came before the commissioners last year, but since the POPS working group was still deciding how the corporal position would be implemented, commissioners were asked not to use corporal titles.

Commissioner Jeffrey Travillion motioned to establish the corporal position and Commissioner Margaret Gómez seconded.

“I really commend the POPS committee working together, working to create structure, working with our offices to get that done,” Travillion said. “I think that they have done significant analysis, really good work, and are preparing us to move forward.”

Chief Deputy Noel Johnson of Precinct 5 said, “I think this is a much needed career advancement tool for the constable offices and the park rangers. And we just appreciate everybody’s work on this issue.”

The motion unanimously carried.

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