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_bluestreak_
12-06-2005, 08:44 PM
First of all, my name is Josh and I'm a new poster to the forums, but I've been a daily reader for about a year now. I think these forums are useful tool for everyone, LEO and Future LEO alike.

In my parish, there are 7 constables. They're the the law enforcement arm of the Justice of the Peace court and it's a part time position elected by the people of the town they represent. By law, they have general enforcement powers but I rarely hear of them doing anything besidies their civil service duties (subpoenas, physical evictions, etc..).

I know there are varying roles depending upon location...in the south, the constables seem to have more of a role in general law enforcement (especially in texas)....but what's the situation like where you live....

and if you're a full time LEO, do you respect the Constable in your area and what they do?

Bigg Dogg
12-06-2005, 09:59 PM
here in Texas,Constables are another branch of Law Enforcement just like any other.Our 3 constables we have for our county serve some papers,not very many though.But they do all the district court,Attorney General Court,and County Court security which frees up my dept.
Only one of our Constables does much of anything else.He is good about taking calls if we are busy though.

And yes,I do respect them and really like the one Constable that helps quite a bit.He always buys me lunch!!LOL!!

KenW.
12-06-2005, 11:33 PM
In Utah, they are treated like contracters. They are hired by Justice courts to handle security, bailiff, and serve the process generated in that court. They can be hired by law firms to serve their process too. The must have bsiness licenses and be certified as private investigaters. Their law enforcement powers are limited to what is traditionally required to serve process (including evictions and warrants)and act as a bailiff.

They're only required to be certified as a Cat II officer.

Vtfuzz
12-07-2005, 09:43 AM
In VT they are elected officials of a town and act as LEO's if that town has not voted to strip them of LEO powers. Otherwise they serve civil process and act as a dog warden in most towns.

Tim Dees
12-07-2005, 03:44 PM
As you can see from these few posts, the duties and powers of constables vary from state to state by law and custom.

SCConstable2004
12-08-2005, 12:14 PM
In SC, Constables are volunteer law enforcement with state-wide jusdiction. They typically work with local agencies on just about anything the local agency feels comfortable with. The only real limitation on Constables is that they can not work as under cover agents. They are trained, armed, have full arrest powers within the state, and can not be compensated in any way.

purdinpopo
12-08-2005, 06:53 PM
As far as I know in Missouri they do not exist, all of the duties, and powers that they seem to have ascribed to them, describes a County Sheriff and his deputies.

Bigg Dogg
12-08-2005, 07:36 PM
As far as I know in Missouri they do not exist, all of the duties, and powers that they seem to have ascribed to them, describes a County Sheriff and his deputies.
As far as I know we didn' thave them in Oklahoma either.Sheriffs departments do what the Constables do down here.

Constable Bob
12-09-2005, 08:01 AM
Greetings All.

In Pennsylvania, we are known as Pennsylvania State Constables. we are elected in the city, town, or township in which we live. Our primary duties include working with the District Judges in PA to serve civil process, criminal warrants, perform levies, "Sheriff/Constable" sales, etc. We are paid under a fee bill approved by the State government, are trained and certified under PA ACT 44 (enacted in 1994), we must receive 80 hours of classroom/hands-on training, then another 40 hours of firearms instruction to be able to work as a Constable. We are also required to attend a MINIMUM of 40 hours of continuing eductation each year, 20 hours on legal updates, another 20 hours on firearms recertification. We are the oldest law enforcement agency in PA (1664), and for the first 10 years of their existance, the PA State Police were known as the PA State Constabulary. We have full arrest powers under PA Common Law (Unconsolidated Statues Title 18), are considered (and are) sworn law enforcement officers, fall under the provisions of US HB-218 to carry across state lines, and are, under the law, able to work in the capacity of a police officer under the jurisdiction of our local Chief of Police. In my township, I am fortunate that the Chief of Police considers me to be part of his "Law Enforcement Team", and I have assisted his department on a number of occasions. In-contrast, we have the Sherrif's Departments in PA. They have county-wide authority, and work with the Common Pleas court system. We basically do the same things as the Sheriffs, and sometimes work together with them. We can also serve bench warrants and PFA's (Protection from Abuse Orders), although these are usually handled by the PD or Sheriffs. One of the most dangerous things we do is warrant service. Everything from traffic to criminal warrants may be given to us by a Districr Judge to serve. A case-in-point, the Police Officer (Miller) that was shot in Warwick Township, Lancaster County PA was serving a traffic warrant. This made the national news...along with the double homicide a week later. It was my township that these events occurred, and I assisted our PD on both.

Bob O'Brien
PA State Constable
Warwick Township, Lancaster County PA

_bluestreak_
12-09-2005, 08:42 AM
wow, thanks for the replies...

keep em coming, I'd like to hear from the deputy or policeman's point of view also...it's fascinating how different things are from state to state...

Bigg Dogg
12-09-2005, 12:37 PM
wow, thanks for the replies...

keep em coming, I'd like to hear from the deputy or policeman's point of view also...it's fascinating how different things are from state to state...


You just did in both of mine!

ChrisF202
12-09-2005, 03:02 PM
Here on Long Island (NY) they are armed peace officers employed by a town or village to enforce ONLY town or village laws which can often include the state vehicle and traffic laws which is why they make traffic stops, some also respond to regular 911 calls.

PeteBroccolo
12-09-2005, 03:44 PM
In Canada, the title, "Constable", is a rank in all Municipal and Provincial Police Services, as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and is usually the lowest rank for any Peace Officer that has full law enforcement and investigative responsibilities.

PhilipCal
12-09-2005, 06:36 PM
In Alabama, constables have law enforcement authority in the county where elected. They do not have to meet APOST Standards. They have authority to serve process and make arrests, although few if any courts or attorneys utilize them, preferring to have Sheriffs or Private Investigators serve certain process. Constables are not paid, and must provide their own vehicles, uniforms, and equipment. At one time, Alabama had Justices of the Peace, and Constables often worked for, or in conjuction with them. With the elimination of the JP offices, constables have little real function, and they no longer exist in many Alabama counties. Obviously, the office of constable varies from state to state.

marshaldan
12-10-2005, 01:19 PM
It is just another word for town cop here.
If you let them they would wear a GEN`s four stars and call themselves Chief.

_bluestreak_
12-10-2005, 03:51 PM
awesome, keep em coming

sounds like the majority are town LEO's....still interested in all of the different varieties of duties.....

thanks for keeping the thread going!

thirdgod
12-11-2005, 10:14 AM
Constables in Arizona work under the Justice of the Peace courts, and are elected every four years like Sheriffs. They basically have the same powers and duties of a county Sheriff, except for the JP courts instead of the Superior court. There is one Constable for each JP court, and they may employ Deputy Constables. Constables don't have to be certified, but Deputy Constables are all AZPOST certified Peace Officers. They mainly do civil process, evictions, etc, but may serve JP warrants and make arrests like any other peace officer.

Constable Bob
12-12-2005, 06:05 AM
Sounds a lot like PA. Instead of Superior court, we have County Common Pleas Court. Our JP's are called Magisterial District Judges. Only difference appears to be training....even as an elected Constable, I have to have my initial 120 hours, then a minimum of 40 hours per year continuing ed. Most of us do at least 100 hours additional each year to keep up on the constant changes. We have both a state and county associations (similiar to the FOPs) that works for changes in pay, etc.

CB

Deputy Medic
03-08-2006, 04:59 PM
In Delaware the Constables work for the Justice of Peace Courts and are an enforcement arm for them just as Sheriff's are for State Courts. One interesting sideline is that large corporations or landowners can request the governor declare their security forces to be constables giving them arrest powers on the employers porperty, the largest hospital here (regional trauma center) has a force of constables that's the sixth or seventh largest law enforcement agency in the state. There are even some downstate taverns whose "bouncers" are state certified constables. The JP constables however are considered "peace officer" under the state constitution and have statewide arrest powers, the other constables do not. For decades until the 1990's the University of Delaware's Police Dept were just constables. In the 90's the legislature recognized them as a full department. Two of the other counties Kent and Sussex have County Constables and I'm not sure what they do other that protect county porperty.

Fasteddie
03-08-2006, 06:57 PM
I am a police officer outside of Pittsburgh and deeply appreciate the fine service our constable provides. As in any profession, there are good people and those indifferent. On several occasions, I've worked jointly with constables serving warrants. They truly deal with the wanted criminal element. On the flip side, I know of two who I deem "Ceremonial Constables"....they only work the voting site on election day because one is too incompetent to become fully certified and has no real arrest power but can somehow wear the badge (go figure) and his deputy is simply too old to work the job.

At least they know of their shortcomings.

They make around $100.00 on election day, enjoying their moment.

It's always nice to have a Constable transport the arestee to jail, it frees me up and they get paid.

Unless they can manage to get some government money, they provide for their own equipment, including vehicle expenses.

209

VA Dutch
03-08-2006, 07:23 PM
Don't have them in VA....at least that I have ever heard of. There is a provision in our state code for certain people who can be appointed as "conservators of the peace" in certain circumstances, but that's probably the closest thing to constables that we have.

My dad used to live in Texas years and years ago, and they had "constables" who drive marked cars (even Camaros!) and are charged with performing various law enforcement duties - from traffic enforcement to prisoner transport. Can anyone from Texas elaborate on this?

Safety1st
03-08-2006, 07:54 PM
In the UK, CONSTABLE is the ONLY law enforcement officer...

Even when they get promoted to Sergeant or Inspector...you still hold the rank of 'constable'...

and the chief of the force...is called a CHIEF CONSTABLE...

Jim1648
03-08-2006, 08:25 PM
Fasteddie just reminded me of something, White Bear Township (MN) had several Constables a few years back. They did general policing when they were on, but they were not on 24 hours a day, and when they were not on duty the area car from the sheriff's office covered the call(s) in White Bear Township. They DID have some sort of responsibility with the election process, however, because I remember hearing a call on the radio during an election night years ago advising them to "pick up the ballots" at the Town Hall.

205
03-08-2006, 10:56 PM
Im a deputy constable in Texas and here is everything you ever wanted to know about it. :D We have the same powers and training requirements as police and sherriffs and are defined as peace officers under texas law. The actual work we preform is largely dependant on the elected constable who employs you. Some constables only want their deputies to do civil process and baliff the justice of the peace court. Others prefer to have their deputies work like police or sheriff deputies in that they work traffic, respond to calls for service, take reports and work cases. Some counties like Dallas or Harris county provide vehicles and equipment to the constables office while others provide barely a paycheck for the constable him or herself.
My county is somewhere in the middle in that we are reasonably paid and are provided with some equipment. I drive a marked unit which I own the vehicle but the county provides the radio, camera, radar, etc... however, most of that was bought with drug forfieture money. In addition to our salary we are given a vehicle allowence. Fourtantly I work for a Constable who encourages us to be on the street whenever possible and who supports us when we stir things up a bit. Unfourtantly, I also work in a county whose Sheriff (not the deputies) and County Commissioners would love to see us disappear. For obvious reasons, the Sheriff hates to see us on the news making drug busts or catching the guys the SO had been looking for, while the commisioners like to run the county with an iron fist and despise the fact that they can't fire the constables when they don't do as their told.
Other than the politics, the actual job itself is great. I get to make my own schedule. I can pick and choose what I want to do for the most part. Very little mandatory PR work. For example I work nights on the weekends so that I can go to school during the week. When the S.O. is busy they will dispatch calls to us, but only as a request if we are not busy, we are under no obligation to respond. Keep in mind that I am talking about the barking dog, loud noise complaints, not actual emergency "crime in progress" calls, which we are of course going to respond to if called and volunteer for if we are closer than the S.O. units.
The civil process part sucks. I really dislike kicking people out of their houses or taking away the big screen TV and couch they didn't pay for. I really really dislike it when they say, "I dont care what your court order says, You aint gettin my TV Bi*ch!" and slam the door in your face. :mad: Then you have to go to the trouble of typing up a warrant, getting it signed, getting another deputy to go back across town and knocking on the door and taking the TV, Couch and the a**hole along with it. :eek:

_bluestreak_
03-09-2006, 01:45 AM
wow, I didn't know this thread was still going......thanks for all the info

I plan on running for constable in a couple of years in my hometown. As I said, a constable in louisiana is treated (by law) as any peace officer as long as they have been POST certified with a sidearm. A constable is also part-time and is compensated roughly 8 grand a year. They serve as the law enforcement arm of the Justice of the Peace courts. The current constable is almost invisible, only paying attention to his civil service duties (subpoenas, physical evictions). I plan to make the office more visible with random patrols and courteous speed stops within the neighborhoods. I'd like to make a change and obtain a radio from the Sheriff's Office and be available as backup when I'm on patrol or otherwise avaiable for the higher risk calls. But all of this will mostly be a stepping stone for my career (I'd like to run for Sheriff much later on) and I'd like to make a positive impact.

Do you have any suggestions for innovative ideas? Campaigning suggestions are also very much appreciated.

Thanks for keeping the thread going; I think everyone's learned a little bit more.

hounddog
03-09-2006, 05:38 AM
Do any of the Michigan guys here know what the rules are for Constables here? The township where I live has a county contract currently, but are thinking about doing away with that and perhaps going with a constable. I might be wrong, but I thought that cstb.'s here were mostly powerless now. :confused:
Your thoughts?

southboy
03-09-2006, 09:25 AM
Fascinating thread. I grew up in Alabama and one of the previous posters refered to constables in that state. Back in the 1990s, there was a stink about some of the constables in Montgomery County. Evidently one of the constables was pulling people over on the interstate and harrassing them even though he didn't have the authority to do that. If I'm not mistaken, that caused Montgomery County to get rid of elected constables.

ArmouredSainT
03-17-2006, 03:37 AM
Arkansas has constables. Established with the 1874 constitution. Originally elected with county wide powers, but now only work within townships or JP districts. They have all law enforcement powers and can serve papers. While the Sheriff is an elected tax-collector and given law enforcement powers via the legislature, only constables and coroners have constitutional law enforcement authority.
Sheriff's hate them because of the control issue. The state hates them and denies NCIC access unless they attend the police academy (which I think is a good idea to attend).
There are no paid Arkansas constables. All provide their own equipment unless local jurisdictions help out because they want him/her to write tickets and the city gets the money without paying a salary or liability insurance.
I was a constable for a while, became a real paid cop, now I work for the fed making "big" bucks and do a whole lot less shi&#@&...
Only Constables in Pulaski County can have deputies.
If I had an oppurtunity to do it all over again I would NOT!!! After nearly 14 years of this crap, I should have just finished college and got my job as a nuclear physicist like I dreamed when I was a kid. :cool:

deputytx1979
03-17-2006, 05:18 PM
I spent two years as a deputy constable in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. It was different to say the least. For the most part my experience was good and I'm glad I tried it. I've been around Constable Offices in four Texas counties and in two of the the constable's worked their butts off answering calls for service and helping the local officers. The third, Dallas County, was different because of its size, the deputies were always doing things like traffic enforcement and several offices had special units to search parole violation warrants etc. The fourth was similar to Dallas but it depended, some of the offices didn't do anything but serve papers others answered calls and served warrant all day long.
I guess the best, or worst, part of the Constable Office in Texas is that it can be made to fit the community unlike any other law enforcement agency.

kirch
03-18-2006, 12:08 PM
No constables here in WI, at least not that I'm aware of. However, we do have a somewhat similar case with 'marshals'. State statutes allow villages (communities under 5000 pop.) to authorize marshals to serve as community LEOs. They have the same authority as a police officer and can be deputized to give them county-wide jurisdiction. It's very uncommon, though a village next to mine did it a few years ago after they closed down their 2-man PD and fired their chief. The remaining officer became a village marshal for a time. The change was essentially on paper only, as he did everything just like when he was a police officer, and his squad car still said POLICE on it.

Come to think of it, I think it'd be cool to show up and announce yourself as the marshal. It brings to mind thoughts of a cowboy hat, six-gun and spurs. :)

AvalancheZ71
06-10-2006, 05:55 PM
No constables here in WI, at least not that I'm aware of. However, we do have a somewhat similar case with 'marshals'. State statutes allow villages (communities under 5000 pop.) to authorize marshals to serve as community LEOs. They have the same authority as a police officer and can be deputized to give them county-wide jurisdiction. It's very uncommon, though a village next to mine did it a few years ago after they closed down their 2-man PD and fired their chief. The remaining officer became a village marshal for a time. The change was essentially on paper only, as he did everything just like when he was a police officer, and his squad car still said POLICE on it.

Come to think of it, I think it'd be cool to show up and announce yourself as the marshal. It brings to mind thoughts of a cowboy hat, six-gun and spurs. :)
You need to do a little more homework. WI allows towns to elect a constable and set his duties. He may have full powers or just answer calls about barking dogs and overgrown grass. A family member of mine just received a traffic citation from a Town Constable. WI allows town constable to have the word "POLICE" on their vehicles and uniforms. That is probably why you don't realize that they have constables.

The State of Tennessee does have constables. They, however, have been written out of the state constitution as of 1978. They are now a statutory office as opposed to a constitutional one. This allows the state to enact legislation that allows for the abolishment of the office at the county level.

Here is some information of the Office of Constable in the State of Tennessee. Constables are elected at the district level within their counties. There general jurisdiction is coextensive with the county that they are elected in, however, they do have statewide powers. However, most only excercise such powers within their counties. The State of Tennessee has 95 counties, however, the office has been abolished in most of the populous counties and the least populous counties. The Constable has the power to keep the peace of the state. He has common law peace keeping powers. This, however, can also be abolished by the county legislative body by two consecutive meetings by a 2/3's majority of the body.

The duties of a Constable are mininal, however, they do have wide powers. The duties of Constables in Tennessee are as follows per Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA)8-10-111

1. It is the duty of a constable to execute all process lawfully directed to the constable, and to wait upon the court, when appointed by the county legislative body or by the sheriff, as the case may be.

(personal note) I don't see how it is constitutional for the Sheriff to ask the Constable to wait upon the court. Since their is no language for the guidance for what a Constable is to do once he is to "wait upon the court", I have never heard of any Sheriff excercising this option. It is the opinion that the Sheriff would be then be liable for any actions the Constable would take waiting upon the court.

2. In counties governed by a metropolitan government as provided for by title 7, chapters 1-3, any constable to whom a precept or process is directed by a judge or clerk of a court of general sessions may perform the constable's duties relating thereto by delivering such precept or process within a reasonable time to the sheriff of the county, who shall serve such precept or process.

It is the duty of every constable of a district to demand to see the receipt for state and county privilege taxes of every manager of a circus, menagerie, sideshow, sleight of hand or legerdemain, or any other exhibition for profit, of persons selling patent rights, and of every peddler of any article whatever, whether on foot, in vehicle, or on horseback; and, if the tax receipt is not produced, the constable shall collect the state and county privilege taxes, and shall, within one (1) week after such collection, notify the county clerk, by mail or otherwise, that the constable has collected the tax, and so much tax, and pay the tax to the clerk within one (1) month after such collection. If the constable fails to turn the tax over to the county clerk, the constable shall be proceeded against and the constable's office declared vacant.

Those are the duties. Now as I mentioned, they do have various and wide ranging powers. This wide range and the law enforcement powers is strongly derived from the oath of office of the Constable.

8-10-108 Oath of Office:
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), every constable shall take an oath that the constable will well and truly serve the state in the office of constable; that the constable will faithfully, and without delay, execute and return all lawful process directed to the constable; and that the constable will well and truly, according to the constable's power and ability, do and execute all other duties of the office of constable.

(b) In counties having a population of:

not less than nor more than
------------ -------------
3,700 4,700
6,000 7,800
8,400 8,500
8,535 8,540
9,200 9,570
10,770 10,780
11,500 11,511
11,512 11,550
11,700 11,900
12,060 12,500
12,550 13,000
14,500 14,600
15,300 15,500
15,750 16,000
17,000 17,350
18,000 18,200
18,300 18,900
19,000 19,100
19,130 19,140
21,000 21,500
21,600 22,300
23,200 23,350
23,355 23,391
23,391 23,450
23,500 23,750
24,000 24,255
25,600 27,500
27,900 28,000
28,555 28,600
28,825 28,827
29,250 31,250
31,260 33,000
33,700 34,000
35,480 41,800
41,900 50,000
57,550 59,400
59,500 60,050
60,600 62,000
64,000 65,000
101,000 118,400
118,700 200,000

according to the 1960 federal census or any subsequent federal census, and in Fentress County and Hamblen County, every constable shall take an oath that the constable will well and truly serve the state in the office of constable; that the constable will cause the peace of the state to be kept, to the best of the constable's power; that the constable will arrest all such persons as go in the constable's sight armed offensively, or who commit any riot, affray, or other breach of the peace, or will use the constable's best endeavor, on complaint made, to apprehend all felons, rioters, or persons riotously assembled; and that, if such persons flee or make resistance, the constable will pursue, and make hue and cry, according to law; that the constable will faithfully, and without delay, execute and return all lawful process directed to the constable; and that the constable will well and truly, according to the constable's power and ability, do and execute all other duties of the office of constable.

(c) The oath of office may be administered to the constable by any judge of the court of general sessions or other judicial officer of the constable's county.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or interpretation thereof to the contrary, the constables in counties having a population of not less than thirteen thousand five hundred sixty-five (13,565) nor more than thirteen thousand six hundred (13,600) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census shall continue to be vested with all law enforcement powers and authority conferred upon other constables by subsection (b) and the provisions of §§ 39-17-505, 40-6-210, 40-6-212, 55-8-152, 57-9-101, 57-9-103 and 57-9-201.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the constables in counties having a population of not less than seventeen thousand four hundred seventy-five (17,475) nor more than seventeen thousand five hundred seventy-five (17,575) according to the 2000 federal census or any subsequent federal census shall be vested with all law enforcement powers and authority conferred upon other constables by subsection (b) and the provisions of §§ 39-17-505, 40-6-210, 40-6-212, 55-8-152, 57-9-101, 57-9-103 and 57-9-201.

Can constables in Tennessee run blue lights? Yes they can. There is a little confusion over this law, however. Prior to I believe 1997 only constables in certain counties listed by brackets such as the bracket above. The law was changed to cover all constables with law enforcement powers, but the old blue light law still has the bracket deal.

Here is the law that covers blue lights and vehicle markings.
8-10-120
Constable patrol cars may be white with a brown stripe running horizontally along the upper side. This color scheme shall not be used by any other state or local law enforcement official or agency; provided, that any state or local law enforcement official or agency that is using such color scheme on March 29, 1996, may continue to use such color scheme. When adopted for use by a county constable, the stripe design and other emblems and lettering shall conform to the official uniform markings adopted by the Tennessee constable association or the Tennessee constable council on file with the director.

(b) Constable patrol cars which conform to the description in subsection (a), which are being operated as provided in § 55-9-414, and which are used as emergency vehicles, may be equipped with blue lights and/or red lights and sirens.

(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit a county constable from operating unmarked cars for other law enforcement purposes.

(d) Any constable operating a patrol car and using the lights described in this section must have graduated from the last calendar date in-service sponsored by the Tennessee constable association or the Tennessee constable council.

(e) Each constable shall be responsible for all costs in marking patrol cars.

(f) The provisions of this section shall not apply in any county which has removed from constables any law enforcement powers.

(g) This section does not apply in counties having a population of not less than fourteen thousand six hundred fifty (14,650) nor more than fifteen thousand (15,000) according to the 1990 federal census or any subsequent federal census.

TN Cop
06-11-2006, 09:39 PM
AvalancheZ71 you do seem to know you way around the TCA book. However I think it will be the norm in the coming years for more and more counties to follow suit w/Williamson county and abolish the postion all together. I've never known the constables in the county in which I reside to do little more than serve civil papers. That is of course, when the courts don't use deputies or PI's. Also, the ones I've had contact w/have had little or no training......to me that's just a liability to the public. Let them join a reserve unit, if someone wants to do the job w/o the intrest of drawing a check. Constables had their place in olden days, but I honestly don't think they have a place in modern law enforement.

AvalancheZ71
06-15-2006, 10:44 PM
AvalancheZ71 you do seem to know you way around the TCA book. However I think it will be the norm in the coming years for more and more counties to follow suit w/Williamson county and abolish the postion all together. I've never known the constables in the county in which I reside to do little more than serve civil papers. That is of course, when the courts don't use deputies or PI's. Also, the ones I've had contact w/have had little or no training......to me that's just a liability to the public. Let them join a reserve unit, if someone wants to do the job w/o the intrest of drawing a check. Constables had their place in olden days, but I honestly don't think they have a place in modern law enforement.


You have not been to Seiver, Madison or Sullivan county then I take it. In Madison County (Jackson), the Constables there serve a great deal of CRIMINAL warrants. They even have a contract with the S.O. there. Dekalb, McNairy, and Johnson counties begged the state to change the law so they can retain their constables with full law enforcement powers.

Also, there was a bill, that died, that would have put a statewide referendum in all 95 counties to ask if the people wanted a constable in their county or not. There is also a certian number of counties where the county legislative body cannot abolish the office, such as Wilson, Polk, Roane, Monroe and Lincoln counties. The sheriff of Maury County said that he would not know what he would do if the county abolished the 12 constables in that county. However, I do agree with you on most of your points and the counties that do not want them will get rid of them. It happens every year.

In so far as they had their place in olden days, I think one can overlook a great assest. You say and validly, they have little or no training and are a liability. Well how about if they require training for the constable like in MS and TX. They have an academy class just for constables in MS. They have available hours that allows a working man (or woman) to attend class, hold a full-time job and be trained. What a deal. Look at TX. They are professional out there and serve a great purpose. Check out the Harris County Constable websites.

AvalancheZ71
06-18-2006, 11:47 PM
AvalancheZ71 you do seem to know you way around the TCA book. However I think it will be the norm in the coming years for more and more counties to follow suit w/Williamson county and abolish the postion all together. I've never known the constables in the county in which I reside to do little more than serve civil papers. That is of course, when the courts don't use deputies or PI's. Also, the ones I've had contact w/have had little or no training......to me that's just a liability to the public. Let them join a reserve unit, if someone wants to do the job w/o the intrest of drawing a check. Constables had their place in olden days, but I honestly don't think they have a place in modern law enforement.
That is just like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

PPDSWD
09-15-2006, 12:54 AM
In Pennsylvania if I had to break it down by authority it would go like this. (please correct me if I am wrong)

1. Pennsylvania State Police
2. Municipal Police
3. then after that it gets all fuzzy, Sheriffs in PA are more of a tradational role mostly civil stuff same with constables. Some recent court decisions in PA have allowed Sheriffs to do "police work" if they complete the same training as municipal police officers. For example a Deputy Sheriff in Philadelphia could not stop a vehicle for a motor vehicle violation.
4. Campus Police and Railway Police ex. SEPTA South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (who are different then municipal police, their authority is limited to their property and with in X amount of feet of it.)

There are no constables in the City and County of Philadelphia

D.T.O.M
09-15-2006, 04:13 AM
Im not sure about it here in IL. I dont believe we have them though. Our county sheriffs do ALL of that work plus the same work as municipal police in areas that are not incorperated in the county. Most S/O's have proccess servers, civil servers and all that good stuff. Im not too sure we have JoP's either. I could be wrong though.

I know we dont have any in the chicago land area or in the county that I work in. The Sheriff pretty much does it all.


Their powers arent limited to their office, its more so they are only limited to jurisdiction while on duty. State police can arrest state wide while on duty, Sheriffs are county wide, Municipalities are city wide, and Special Police are limited to their patrol zone.

Illinois State Police
Sheriffs Department (They have county wide jurisdiction mush larger)
Municipal (City jurisdiction smaller then county)
Special Police (Rail Road and Campus Police)

I believe in IL though they all have pretty much the same powers. When you go through training in IL its pretty much the same certification for everyone, no matter if you are a Deputy, Police or Trooper. (When talking about patrol)