Rob Strause, sworn-in this week by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Derry Dunn, fills a constable’s job that has not had an elected official in 16 months. 

Strause, who ran on a campaign of successful burglary investigations and working to reduce drug trafficking, says he will spend a few weeks identifying the problems in Precinct 2 and how they relate to his position.

“It was, and is great, to have had that many people come forward and choose me for the job,” he said. “There are papers that need to be served in a timely manner, but I also want to be out meeting people. I promised during the election that I was going to be another law enforcement officer out there and not sit behind a desk all day.”

In the 2008 elections, Strause and “Yank” Peveto topped the runoff list over fellow candidates David Vandagriff, Charles Powell, Eric Mitchell and Harold Hass. 

The seat became available with the death of Parker Thompson in 2007. Dee Aven filled the slot through 2008, following an appointment by county commissioners.

Strause is married to the former Janois Lopez, a 19-year-veteran with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He worked for that department for more than 10 years and formerly oversaw the special services unit. He currently holds a Texas advanced peace officer license.

He has served in the Army and the Coast Guard, and in 1996 graduated second in his class from the Lamar Regional Police Academy. Hired originally in Orange County as an investigator with the district attorney’s office, he was later transferred to the sheriff’s office and helped develop the street crimes unit, which in its second year recovered more than $4 million in stolen property.

Since 1999, Strause has been a member of the SWAT team.
Also this week, Janois Strause moves up to captain the support division as part of Sheriff Keith Merritt’s newly-announced team.