(AND DON'T CALL ME AN OXYMORON !)
"What the Heck Does a Constable Do Anyway?
I've been a Cheshire Constable for a few years now. So far, I've been paid to serve a couple of subpoenas for Cheshire Attorney Paul Ranando and one for a lawyer in Stamford who had contacted me by phone. He never paid me. Oh well. . .anybody out there wanna sue a lawyer?
Anyway, back to our story, , ,
I was asked to write an "expose" for the Cheshire Democratic Town Committee's web site. I decided to "blow the lid off" the mystery of "what the heck does a constable do anyway"? I Googled the topic of Connecticut constables and printed out four sheets of duties and information. What an eye-opener! I have responsibilities and duties I never dreamt I had. Let's go to the back story.
The folks at the Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research had compiled a very informative report way back in 1994. They posted it on their web site. I'm assuming nothing has changed since then. I'll be quoting from that report.
"As you know, there are two types of constables, elected and appointed. The basic difference is that usually appointed constables have law enforcement functions while elected constables are primarily responsible for serving civil process and tax warrants and carrying out other sheriff-like civil duties. But this general rule does not always hold since towns can, by ordinance, make elected constables law enforcement officials. It appears that such officials would have to take some sort of police training such as that offered by the Municipal Police Training Council. However, there are a number of ambiguities in the statutes concerning constables."
I am an elected constable. Jack Lyons and I are Cheshire's two, Democratic constables and there are also two Republican constables. I have only had minimal police training and we do have an excellent police force in Cheshire, so I won't be performing any major police duties. (I had been the PIO [Public Information Officer] for Cheshire's Civil Defense group and had been trained in traffic control, but that was the extent of my ability to perform anything remotely resembling police duties. However, there's a really "fun" story relating to how the Cheshire Civil Defense Department was disbanded. . .but that's going to have to be a topic for another column.)
Speaking of another column, I think I've taken up enough space for this report. Tune in next week for more "exciting" information about the "burning issue" of "What the Heck Does a Constable Do Anyway?"
5 Dover Court
Cheshire, CT, 06410
203 272 0701