County appoints temporary constable

BROWNSVILLE — Cameron County Commissioners Court yesterday appointed former La Feria police officer Isidro Delgado to serve as County Constable Precinct 5, based in Harlingen.

The issue was discussed in executive session at the Cameron County Commissioners Court weekly meeting.

Delgado will serve as constable until after the November general election when the new constable takes office. Delgado replaces Cesar Rene Diaz, who resigned from the position last month following his selection as the new police chief for La Feria.

Delgado previously worked for the county back in 2010 when he served as a deputy constable for Precinct 5. His was one of two applications the county received to fill the vacant Precinct 5 constable position, officials said.

Delgado said he looked forward to filling the position and thanked the commission for the appointment.

“I look forward to working with our community in precinct 5 and the whole entire county…I’m going to do my best to keep it going until the elected constable comes in,” Delgado said.

Commissioners Court voted in June that it would accept applications from candidates wanting to fill the position rather than appointing either of the two candidates — one Democrat and one Republican — running for the post in the November general election. Officials said appointing either candidate would give that individual the upper hand in the election.

Delgado could likely hold the position until right after the general election.

In other business, Commissioners Court approved setting up two lifeguard towers at county beach access No. 5 and No. 6 until Labor Day on South Padre Island. This was decided after a request was made to set up additional lifeguard stations at those beach accesses.

Officials said there has been increased traffic at the beach accesses but no lifeguards at these particular entrances to help on sight to assist in case of emergencies.

On June 10, 16-year-old Marco Alberto Silva of Mission went missing near beach access No. 5 while trying to swim on a boogie board. His body was recovered the next day just north of where he went missing. Authorities said Silva fell off his boogie board and was unable to get back on. He didn’t know how to swim.

“What I would like to see is something that we could do tomorrow to take us through Labor Day weekend that would provide minimally some towers in those areas,” Precinct 3 Commissioner David A. Garza said.

“I don’t want to go through the rest of the summer and not provide something out there. I’d like to see something proactively done so that we can at least have minimally one tower in each one of those access points,” Garza said.

Garza said the visibility of the lifeguard towers would make the public aware of the need to be more cognizant when out in the water.

Although patrol vehicles do drive up and down the beaches they have “zero water rescue capability and zero EMS capability,” said Michael Johnson, Cameron County Beach Patrol chief.

“This season we’ve had a police officer dispatch us to a drowning that he was watching in progress and could do nothing about it,” Johnson said.