Image: Precinct 4 Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden appeared before the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on April 24, 2018.
New Caney and Austin, June 15 – The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) is investigating Precinct 4 Montgomery County Constable Kenneth “Rowdy” Hayden and his Chief Deputy Barry Welch over whether or not they turned in false training and certification documents to the state agency with respect to a civil law class they supposedly took a year ago.
TCOLE investigators spent a full day examining records in Hayden’s Constable’s Office in New Caney on Thursday, June 7, 2018. The investigators returned to Hayden’s Office for another day of investigation on Tuesday, June 12. They have also investigated records at the City of Roman Forest, which is the official “training provider” for law enforcement agencies in East Montgomery County.
Hayden spoke with The Golden Hammer on Thursday, June 14, and confirmed the pendency of the investigation. He did, however, state, “We’ve provided TCOLE with information that we believe shows that we are in full compliance with TCOLE regulations and with Texas law.” Hayden explained that he provided the information to TCOLE on Wednesday, June 13, but that he could not comment further about the matter because it is an ongoing investigation.
”I try to provide the best public safety and law enforcement services to keep the people of East Montgomery County safe,” Hayden told this newspaper. “Serving this community is what I love to do.”
TCOLE is the main regulatory agency for all certified peace officers in the State of Texas, including sheriffs, deputies, constables and their deputies, marshals, police officers, and other similar law enforcement positions. All law enforcement officers must take 40 hours of continuing education, training, and certifications every two (2) years. Constables and their deputies must have 20 hours every two years in civil process, since that is the primary statutory duty of constables under Texas law.
In recent years, TCOLE and local law enforcement agencies have become far more strict to ensure compliance with the education, training, and certification requirements. Just recently, two high profile matters occurred in Montgomery County concerning TCOLE training.
Earlier this year, in April, 2018, The Golden Hammer publisher a letter concerning some TCOLE-required training that a Sheriff’s Captain allowed one of his subordinates to take for him. The Captain resigned his commission the following morning.
In 2015, an investigation arising out of the law enforcement training and licensure of Houston Texans football star Mario Williams resulted in the order that Lone Star College close its police academy down for numerous instances of non-compliance with TCOLE regulations and related state law.
The investigation by TCOLE arose from the names and signatures of Hayden and Welch appearing on the training roster which the training instructor turned into TCOLE, when there were reports that Hayden and Welch did not attend the class. Training instructors are responsible for student attendance and for the accuracy of certifications submitted to the state regulatory agency.
Both Hayden and Welch are TCOLE-licensed training instructors as well. Two sources, who spoke with The Golden Hammer on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the agency is investigating whether Hayden and Welch turned in accurate training reports in their capacity as training instructors too.
Two TCOLE employees and one former Montgomery County government employee spoke to The Golden Hammer to provide information for this story, although they requested anonymity.