Edmonson Voice Staff
Blue lights, red lights, flashing, or no lights. What does it mean, and does it matter? Over the past couple of years, Edmonson County constables have been a source of controversy from time to time.
There are some county officials, employees, and residents that support the mission of the constable and say they are needed, while others think it's an unnecessary position that brings unwanted liability to the county.
So, just what does a constable actually do? Well, according to the Kentucky Constitution, Section 101, 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). Simply put, constables are peace officers, they can carry a gun, and have the authority to arrest people.
The law also says that constables are elected in each magisterial district in a county. Currently, even though there are six districts in Edmonson County, there were only four districts with constables on the ballot in the last election, which resulted in only four constables that were elected. However, one of those did not pay his official bond and forfeited office. It's also important to note that each constable ran unopposed, one being a write-in. That also means that each current constable would have been elected with only one vote, so some might argue that "elected official" might not be a fair description of current constables in Edmonson County.
Local law enforcement has gone on record to say that locally, constables have both helped and hindered their work. Sheriff Shane Doyle has said that while the right person serving as constable can be a great help, the fact that the office has no training or experience requirements causes a huge unknown, and for that, as far as his office is concerned, the position of constable is no longer necessary.
Others argue that as long as a person is willing to volunteer for a job and help out whenever and wherever they can, it only helps the community and they should be welcomed to do the job that the law says they are elected to do. Some have also said that constables have been treated unfairly and deserve better treatment and thanks than they've received.
One constable reached out to the Edmonson Voice and asked, "What do people think?" "Do people see the constable as a help to the community, or do they serve no purpose?"
We thought we would allow our readers to voice their opinion on the matter of constables.
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