State Report Calls Constables “Outdated” And “Irrelevant”
Kentucky has constables, but does the state need them? They have badges, carry guns, and can arrest people. Constable is a county office. A report from the state calls them "Outdated" and Irrelevant."
Franklin County voters elected Richard Sandifer Constable one year ago. He says he ran, because he wanted to help the community. Now he feels under attack from the state government.
"It’s nothing to the tax-payer. As far as my position, I’m not losing tax-payers a dime. Everything I do is a benefit to the tax payer," said Franklin County’s 6th District Constable, Richard Sandifer.
Constables can collect fees, but they’re not paid a salary, receive no training, and anybody can run. The state’s head of Public Safety says Constables are not needed for safety.
"Constables in Kentucky accounted for 0.02 percent of the law enforcement activity in the state, which is statistically a 0," said Secretary of Justice and Public Safety J. Michael Brown.
Secretary Brown’s 200 plus page report on Constables says while researching the office, people are likely to find Sheriffs who want the position amended out of the constitution.
"Overall most of them are not trained, and it’s a liability. It was an office, it’s an antiquated office that needs to be done away with," said Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton.
Kentucky Constables date back to the 1700’s. Secretary Brown says it’s time to make them history.
"One option is to amend the constitution, which is a very difficult thing to do in Kentucky. Another is to simply change the statute. So, we can’t necessarily remove the office, but we can certainly remove the authority that goes with the office of Constable," said Sec. Brown.
Or legislators can do nothing, and Richard Sandifer will continue to serve.
"I really do try to help," said Sandifer.