So many times in life, things last only for a season. For Michael Hubenak, his season for being Precinct 1 Constable for Wharton County is coming to an end.
Hubenak, who served as a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper for 33 years, has been constable for the past eight years, and served as deputy constable under the previous Precinct 1 Constable, Donald Barbee, for four and a half months. He had been a police officer in Wharton for 27 months before he became a trooper.
Although he has many memorable events as part of his duties, the ones that stand out the most are the ones related to unexpected surprises as the result of conversations with violators.
“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work criminal interdiction while working with DPS,” said Hubenak. “Being able to stop someone for a traffic violation and then, through simple conversation with the violator, determining that there was criminal activity occurring, was very satisfying. The criminal activity, the vast majority of the time, was the transport of illegal drugs through the county.”
One of the hardest parts of his job was one that could not be taken lightly.
“Many times I have had the sad duty of having to contact family members, at all hours of the day or night,” said Hubenak, “and inform them that they had lost a family member in a motor vehicle accident.”
The soon-to-be retiree, who is 66 years young, has been married to his bride Brenda Hubenak 43 years. They have two grown sons and four grandchildren. He said that his age has a lot to do with his stepping down. Their reaction to his retirement?
“My wife and two sons were glad,” he said. “They knew it was time for me to hang it up.”
As constable, he saw people at their best and at their worst.
“The diversity of the situations you find yourself involved in is absolutely amazing,” said Hubenak. “There is never a dull moment when you work in law enforcement. I also carry a lot of memories of the friends I have made, especially those made across the entire state during my time with DPS.”
He said he really enjoyed his time as constable the last eight years.
“It was a little lower on the stress level than it was with DPS. I enjoyed interacting with the citizens of Precinct 1 and being able to help them if they needed any type of assistance.”
Hubenak’s retirement officially begins January 1, 2021, at 12:01 a.m.
Brenda joined her husband when he was recognized for his service with Wharton County during a Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, Dec. 28.
It was the last one of 2020, but one that certainly brightened the room when the constable and others were recognized for their service before retirement.