Albert Martinez was appointed to replace Juan “Chuy” Salinas as the constable of precinct 1 on Monday. The appointment was handed down by the Jim Wells County Commissioners Court after they had considered all three candidates that presented to them.

The other candidates were Gilbert Saenz and Raul David Valadez. 

“It was hard to choose,” said commissioner Ventura Garcia. “We had three very qualified candidates.”

Martinez has been with the JWC Sheriff’s office for 30 years, according to his presentation to the commissioners. Martinez started as a junior explorer during high school and loved law enforcement. He holds a Master Peace Officer license and is a SWAT Commander.

“I feel I can make a difference in that office (constable),” Martinez told commissioners.

After a short time in executive session, the court reconvened and announced Martinez as the new constable. The position was once held by embattled constable Salinas, who, due to health issues, has not been able to perform his required duties. Salinas will be off the force as of May 31, and Martinez will take over on June 1. His salary will be $61, 474, the same as what would have been payed to Salinas for the remainder of his term. The term will end in December of 2020.