New Law Restores Constables' Access to Crime Database

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - Constables will wear uniforms and get access to the state's crime-information database under a new law approved in this year's legislative session and signed by Governor Beebe last week.

Supporters of the measure say it will help repair the image of the Arkansas constable, which is an elective position. Constables are not part of any city or county law-enforcement agency unless they are deputized by a county or hired by a municipality.

The new law allows constables to have access to the Arkansas Crime Information Center data, which includes criminal histories, auto registration and license plate information. The new law also requires constables to wear uniforms and complete a training course.

A.L. Hollingsworth, president of the Arkansas Constables Association, says the changes will improve the image of constables -- an elected official from townships who carry out some law-enforcement duties.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)