FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Future constables would have to receive professional law enforcement training before wielding police powers under a bill passed by the Kentucky House on Thursday.
Most constables have little or no training but wield many of the same powers as police officers and sheriff’s deputies, said Republican Rep. Adam Koenig, the bill’s lead sponsor. The measure seeks to ensure that “everyone who is able to … pull you over in the middle of the night, arrest you and take you to jail, that they are certified and trained,” he said.
The bill’s opponents said it wouldn’t set aside enough training slots for future constables. Constables in rural Kentucky play crucial roles providing backup for other law enforcement, they said.
“What would you do if you’re on a backroad … and you’re asking for support and nobody comes because House Bill 267 takes it away from somebody?” Republican Rep. Bill Wesley said.
The measure cleared the House on a 61-34 vote and now goes to the Senate.