5 Duties of a Constable

If you are interested in learning more about constable work, here we discuss some of the core duties of a constable in today’s age. This law enforcement position has changed greatly over the years and remains different from one state to the next. Despite variations in duties and powers per geographic locations though, we can effectively summarize the five main duties most commonly bestowed of these officials in current times. They are as follows.

Law Enforcer

In many states, the constable is granted with the authority and the encouragement to use it where it comes to many, regular law enforcement tasks. This officer is able to make arrests and enforce the law in a great number of capacities. This is despite the main function of the position being almost always relegated to other duties. Berks County, Pennsylvania is one example in which such law enforcement powers are given but are actually limited to a few, specific capacities such as felony occurrences and disturbances of the peace.

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Warrant Service

Warrant service is quite possibly one of the most common, main purposes of the constable position that we see today. Forming the enforcement part of the local sheriff’s office or court system, the constable is often tasked with matters of warrant activities. This could mean being involved with a physical arrest, heading up some investigative work, or just handling administrative matters of pending warrant concerns. In cases of physical arrest though, for safety reasons, constables are always advised to only proceed with the accompaniment of at least one other law enforcement officer of some kind.

Justice of the Peace, Magistrate Court Services

The Justice of the Peace is a lower court system overseen by an official JP court officer. This court is tasked with handling the more minor, everyday matters of a locality such as licenses, marriages, ordinance dealings, and other minor matters of law. Magistrate court services are a similar offering of the lower courts that will often handle minor criminal matters as well. The duties of a constable in a locality such as Gila County, Arizona may in fact be designated to oversee and administer the processes of such a court. Per the Gila County website – “The Constable serves Criminal and Civil process of the Magistrate and Justice of the Peace Court or other competent authority.”

Polling Place Oversight

Polling places can become quite the place of contention when not properly overseen by a neutral, law enforcement party. In many states, it is therefore a decided responsibility of the constable to handle this matter of importance, peace-keeping, and general oversight. As such, the constables in these areas will deploy to polling places at times of polling and see to it that processes are legally legitimate and that peace is maintained. Matters of voter intimidation, cheating, or other detriments to a legitimate polling atmosphere are thus handled by the constables of that locale.

Prisoner Management

While becoming much less common these days, some locales do require constables to take part and responsibility in matters of prisoner management. This can pertain to prisoner movements within corrections, movements involving court hearings, and even simple, temporary orders of prisoner or facility watch. In today’s corrections and court systems though, this duty is more often relegated to sheriff’s staff, marshal services, or correctional workers.

Constable work began centuries ago and continues on to this day in many areas of the world. In the United States, such work varies depending on the utilizing state. The above-mentioned, five, core duties however do persist commonly within the duties of a constable in most locales today.