I see some strange things in the courtroom . Today in Gallatin , Tennessee was no exception. As I was waiting for my case to be called . I watched a DUI trial that involved a constable . No assistant district attorney and the defendant represented himself. The arrest was made by a constable. I thought the role of a constable was just to serve process. It is outdated in most counties except Sumner County. The DUI case involved a traffic stop , field sobriety tests , and a refusal to take the blood test. The result was a DUI conviction. I was still baffled by the arrest of by the constable.
I learned that the constable in Sumner County Tennessee routinely makes arrests. Under Tennessee Code annotated 8-10-111 it sets forth the duties of a constable. Nowhere is the duty to arrest listed. Under Tennessee Code Annotated 8-10-204 gives them the power of arrest . It was interesting to read about their training from the Tennessee Constable Association
Here is my problem . The constables do not get any pay . I was advised they get paid by the conviction . So once the court costs are paid they get a cut . In Sumner County , a citation gets them $27.00 and a DUI or other criminal charge pockets them $42.00. It is an incentive for abuse and questionable arrests. Law enforcement officers are trained . Tax dollars pay them . Do we really need constable roaming the streets of Tennessee ?