AUSTIN (KXAN) - They wear similar uniforms, carry badges and guns, and drive patrol cars with red and blue lights.
But the role of constable is one the general public is much less familiar with than that of a police officer or sheriff's deputy.
"We seem to be the least known peace officer in Texas," said Travis County Precinct 5 Constable Bruce Elfant.
Monday's tragedy in College Station showed just how dangerous a constable's job can be.
"When the court makes a decision and makes an order, the constable is there to enforce that order," said Elfant.
Elfant said he and his deputies are often in the very tough position of delivering bad news.
"We have to tell them they are losing a home, that a child has been ordered to be taken away, that they lost a car or property," he said.
That can lead to volatile situations.
In 2006, Elfant's office made a video for the Legislature which illustrated the demands of the job and the inherent dangers.
A total of 88 constables or constable deputies have been killed in Texas.
"We don't know what is happening on the other side of that door," said Elfant.
Constables and their deputies are required to be certified peace officers and are obligated to take action if they witness a crime happening.
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