Could Constables Become A Thing of the Past? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Craighead County--Will Carter Reports

Could Constables Become A Thing of the Past?

February 4, 2007; Posted at 10:45 PM CST

JONESBORO-The word "Constable" is one that's been around since the beginning of the American colonies.

The constable was the first formal law enforcement officer, and over the years many branches of law enforcement have come out of this position.

But a proposed ammendment to the State Constitution could be doing away with the position.

For 22 years, Waylon Wimpy has woken up as a Craighead County Constable.

"Being a Constable to me is one of the most fulfilling community activities that a person can do."

But a proposed Joint House Resolution by Democratic Senator Sue Madison of Fayetteville has him a little uneasy.

"If this office is removed, we're going to be wasting a valuable resource, the people in the state of Arkansas have. And i think it would be an injustice to the people to remove law enforcement officers," said Wimpy. 

House Joint Resolution 1003 would ammend State Constitution Section 1.  Article 7, Section 47 by striking what would normally read the terms of office to now say, "The office of Constable is abolished,"

"I'm going to be honest with you. I'd have some mental adjusting to do. It would be very hard to know that crimes going on in my area, and not be able to take an active part in it," said Wimpy. 

He says most Constables have been through law enforcement training and the requirements for election are the same of that as a Sheriff.

"As a society, we need as much law enforcement as we can get out there. The resources of each department. I don't think there is a department in the state of Arkansas that will tell you, we have all the officers that we need," said Wimpy. 

At the end of the day, Wimpy says what matters the most is the people you serve.

"I can't see why anyone would want to take someone out of the community that's willing to put their life on the line to do a good job for their community."

Wimpy, who now serves as the Vice President for both the State and National Constable's Association, says if legislators will talk with ther constituents they will know how important constables are to the communities they serve.

For more information on the roles that constables play in your community, check out the National Constable's Association Web page at http://www.nationalconstablesassociation.com.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at wcarter@kait8.com.

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