Law Enforcement Officials Discuss the Importance of Constables

January 18, 2006-- Posted at 11:00 pm
GREENE COUNTY-- White County is considering cutting election costs by re-drawing township lines which could cut a number of constables from the ballot.
Instead of the more than 40 constables they have now, there's a chance White County could cut back that number to only nine.
But how important is the position of constable?
We spoke with the Greene County Sheriff's Department tonight to find out.
For Randy Foster who is retired from the military, his job as a constable is just second nature... After his 10 years on the job, he says, you just learn to play by the rules...
"Anywhere I go I drive the speed limit. I know people get mad at me when I'm down there on Rocking Chair Road running 35 mph, but that's the speed limit," Constable Rany Foster says.
And then there's Tim Carey, a constable in his first term...
"It's not how valuable I am, but how valuable the service we give people," Carey says.
Under the state constitution, constables have the power to make arrests, serve warrants and pursue suspected felons, but are not required to be professionally trained in law enforcement.
They are elected officials, but Greene County Sheriff Dan Langston says that doesn't make them any less important...
"It's a great asset to the Greene County Sheriff's Dept. We use them almost everyday," Sheriff Langston says.
Constables receive no compensation for patrolling, but for Randy and Tim, wearing the badge is enough...
"It's rewarding enough to me that we stand for what the Sheriff stands for," Carey says.
"At 55, you don't think your needed at anything anymore because your so old, but it makes you feel good," Foster says.
At a november meeting, several members of the White County Constable association opposed any reduction of their ranks.
They said the plan might make police work so expensive for some constables that several might not seek reelection