Precinct 3 expands MAP program in Fort Bend
After 14 years of retirement from law enforcement, Steve Pierson of Katy is back on the road.
Pierson started April 30 as a full-time deputy manning the Motorist Assistance Program operated through the Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office in partnership with Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers.
“There is only one other constable’s office in Texas that provides this service,” said Fort Bend County Precinct 3 Constable Wayne Thompson.
Funding for MAP personnel comes from sales-tax revenue from several county assistance districts, said Meyers.
“Helping stranded motorist and keeping traffic moving are the primary reasons for initiating the Motorist Assistance Program, utilizing the Constable’s office,” said the commissioner.
“In addition, I’ve been trying to expand the federally funded ‘Safe Clear’ program into Fort Bend County, that is coordinated through H-GAC,” said Meyers, who’s the Fort Bend County representative on the H-GAC board.
“This program utilized federal funds to pay towing operations to move stalled vehicles from the main lanes of major thoroughfares to help keep traffic on our major thoroughfares moving. This program was started in Houston and is being expanded into Harris County. By initiating MAP, we believe we can get a head start in getting the federally funded program into Fort Bend County sooner,” added Meyers.
In Precinct 3, the MAP program formerly had been staffed only by reserve volunteer deputies when it started late last summer.
“Currently, the staffing is one full-time deputy and three reserve deputies,” said Thompson. “The program is designed to provide coverage during peak traffic hours during the day and supplemented by reserves during off peak hours and weekends when available, however is not a set schedule.”
Pierson said the best number to call for help is the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s dispatch.
While there is not currently a phone number to call other than the non-emergency dispatch line, Thompson said, “the Commissioner’s Office is working on a mobile phone application ‘app’ so that you can simply press a button on the app to alert us of a need for roadside assistance, report road debris, hazards, etc.”
Pierson also patrols the roads within Precinct 3 from the Brazos River to Texas 6 and from Interstate 10 to U.S. Highway 90A. “I don’t stay in the office,” said Pierson. “I’m always on the road.”
He’s helped stranded motorists who have been stalled and who’ve had flat tires. “They just love it,” said Pierson. “They’re very appreciative.”
Pierson also is appreciative. He began his law enforcement career in 1997 working for various divisions of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and is happy to be working again.
“I thank Constable Thompson and Commissioner Meyers for having this vision,” said Pierson.
“Since Aug. 31 (2018), we have not counted the number of assists, only tracked the miles and hours the MAP deputies were on the road,” said Thompson.