What are Constables?

The word "COP" comes from Constable On Patrol

 

The office of Constable dates from Medieval England. Your Constable is an elected public official. The Constable is one of the only two remaining elected peace officers in the world. In Kentucky, the position of Constable was established in the 1850 Constitution. The present Constitution requires the election of one constable in each justice of the peace (known as magistrate) district.

 

Constables are Peace Officers with broad powers of arrest and authority to serve court processes.  The Constable has the authority to enforce both the Traffic Code and the Criminal Code of Kentucky. They may execute warrants, summonses, subpoenas, attachments, notes, rules and orders of the court in all criminal, penal and civil cases (KRS 70.350).  The Kentucky Constitution, Section 106, Constables will possess the same qualification as the sheriffs and may exercise jurisdiction in any part of the county. (OAG 62-115 and 40-776).

 

An elected Constable can not be barred from working in the city limits by a mayor, chief of police or by the city council but he/she must keep his office in the district which he/she is elected (OAG 74-554).

 

Constables are a fee's paid officer of the court.  Constables are entitled to receive fee's for all citations that they write and warrants they serve.

 

Jurisdiction:

The Kentucky Constitution, Section 106, states that, "Constables shall possess the same qualifications as Sheriffs and their jurisdiction shall be co-extensive with the counties in which they reside.

 

Statement of Common Purpose:

The purpose of the Kentucky Constable is to uphold the law fairly and firmly: to prevent crime, to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law; to keep the peace; to protect, help and reassure the community: and to be seen to do all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgment.

We must be compassionate, courteous and patient, acting without fear or favor or prejudice to the rights of others. We need to be professional, calm and restrained in the face of violence and apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty.

We must strive to reduce the fears of the public and, so far as we can, to reflect their priorities in the action we take.
 

Qualifications:

Constables must be 24 years of age, a citizen of the state for two years and a resident of the county and district one year prior to election.  Before taking office, constables must execute a bond at a minimum amount of $10,000, approved by the fiscal court.

 

CONSTABLE'S CODE OF ETHICS

As an elected and appointed public servant, sworn to carry out the constitutional responsibilities of the position of Constable:

 

I shall dutifully carry out the duties of my office.

I shall, at all times, function without prejudice or regard for an individual's race, religion, or place of birth.

I shall never be a part of an attempt to inhibit or evade the law.

I shall at all time act in a manner in which understanding and justice is communicated to those with whom I come into contact in my work.

I shall conduct my private life unblemished and mindful of others.

I shall be courteous and maintain self-restraint.

I shall be a part of the professional organization designed to protect and upgrade the performance of the Constable.

I shall not personally solicit for funds in the performance of my work to enhance any organization.

I shall seek every opportunity for such training as will enhance my ability to do a better job.

I recognize my badge of authority as a symbol of the public trust and I recognize that as a law enforcement officer, I shall never bring disgrace upon the people, whose faith and confidence elected me as their Constable.

I recognize my duty to protect the constitutional rights of all people.

I shall at all times wear appropriate attire and the necessary equipment to carry out my responsibilities.

I shall never speak with criticism of a fellow Constable except at the appropriate forum provided by an appropriate Constables' organization.

I shall never knowingly infringe upon the operation of another Constable.

I shall never resort to unnecessary force in the performance of my duties.

I shall not accept gratuities offered by anyone employing my services.

I shall perform my duties expeditiously and promptly, and I shall transmit an immediate report to those whose work I have accepted.

I shall strive to adhere to the aforementioned as long as I shall serve as Constable.

 

Deputies

In the counties containing first-class and second-class cities, constables, with the approval of the county judge/executive, may appoint one or more deputies (KRS 70.320). Each deputy constable in counties containing a consolidated local government or city of the first class shall be compensated by a salary set by the consolidated local government or fiscal court, and paid out of the levy f the consolidated local government or county.  Each deputy constable must be an American citizen, at least twenty-one years of age, and must have resided in the county for two years.  He may not have been a watchman, night guard, or a detective for two years preceding his employment. A person convicted of or under indictment for a crime involving moral turpitude is also ineligible for the position of deputy (KRS 61.300).  Constables are liable for all acts and omissions of their deputies and may remove them by filing a written direction with the county judge/executive or by the mayor in a consolidated local government (KRS 70.320)