FORT BEND COUNTY, TX (KTRK/CNN) – A Texas constable says a lieutenant’s text about a “challenge” to arrest the most people was meant “in jest,” and any effort otherwise will not be allowed to continue.
Authorities say the patrol lieutenant at the Fort Bend County Constable’s Office, Precinct 3, texted her deputies a picture of a brand new 2018 Chevy Tahoe with police package last week.
“Challenge,” read the text in part.
The deputies with the most arrests over a two-week period in April would get to drive the new vehicle.
First place would get the car for two weeks, and second place would get it for one week, according to the text, which was sent from the lieutenant’s personal phone.
The lieutenant’s boss, Constable Wayne Thompson, says it was all meant "in jest" and that the contest is not really happening.
"We don't do that here. It's never been done before. I think it’s important to realize the difference between a challenge and a contest,” Thompson said.
He ordered it “will not be done” in an email sent to the entire office Saturday.
"The law is very clear: We can't conduct any sort of reward or promote people or discipline people based on the number of traffic tickets they write or arrest,” Thompson said.
Thompson says there was no reason to reprimand the lieutenant who sent the text and that she knows now what she wrote was wrong. There was no violation of policy or law, he insists, because he stopped the effort before it even started.
Still, what he’s battling, Thompson knows, is public perception. Some residents are angry that such a “challenge" would be issued.
"I don't think that's really fair for them to do that kind of stuff. That's kind of telling people to go out and arrest some more. It just doesn't sound right,” resident Rick Wade said.
Thompson says there is no quota system in place, and the men and women of his office work hard every day to uphold the law and protect those living in his precinct.
Copyright 2018 KTRK, Fort Bend Constable’s Office via CNN. All rights reserved.