The Future of Constables
The county office of constable is under review in Frankfort. It’s not the first time an effort has been made to do away with constables or their duties. The office of constable was established in the 1850 constitution. Today there are more than 500 constables in magisterial districts across the state. The primary push to legislatively strip away their duties comes from the Kentucky Association of Counties.
Director of Government Relations Shelly Hampton says constables have little training and are a drain on county revenues. Lexington representative Stan Lee says if there’s a problem, it can be solved by voters.
“If you have anyone who’s abusing their elected office, there is processes in place to deal with that…the most basic of which is an election,” said Lee.
Mount Sterling representative Richard Henderson believes there’s still a place for constables today. He represents the natural bridge area of Kentucky.
“The tourism creates a lot of problems and there’s a constable up there that works with the sheriff’s department, does a wonderful job.. went through the proper training…wants to do it… now we have some cases where the wrong people are elected,” added Henderson.
A previous unsuccessful attempt was made in the general assembly for a constitutional amendment to abolish the position of constable