The late President John F. Kennedy said in his inauguration speech, "Ask not what your Country can do for you, ask what you can do for your Country." With these words, he called a generation of Americans to public service. Some of us heard the call and decided to serve our Country and our community as Pennsylvania State Constables.
Constables serve their local community as Law Enforcement officers' and they serve their local community by serving arrest warrants and civil process paperwork for the Magisterial District Court System. Constables also provide peace keeping duties at government meetings. Constables can make warrantless arrests for on-view felonies, breaches of the peace, riot, public drunkenness and for causing a disruption at public meetings. Constables do most of this at no cost to the taxpayer. Constables are the best friend the Pennsylvania taxpayer has. Constables bring in over $40 million dollars to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania each year. They also bring in revenue to boroughs and township municipal governments when they serve warrants and defendants pay their fines. Constables pay for their vehicles and equipment out of the fees they receive from Defendants and Plaintiffs in the cases at the District Court level.
Constables are considered the Chief Law Enforcement Officer and the Chief Executive Officer of their elected districts.
Constables also assist Pa State Police and local volunteer fire companies at accident scenes. Constables can also write citations. The Governor of Pennsylvania can call out the Constables for Homeland Security purposes to protect life and property during an emergency.
With the Commonwealth as well as the local communities strapped for cash, the Constable is an untapped resource that is not being utilized. If the local citizens were to contact their representatives and demand that the Constable be used more than they may start listening. As of now HB 2731 was introduced in the House Judiciary Committee, this bill guts even further the Constable and takes more away from the local communities and the people who voted for them as well as the Constable.
Please call your representatives today and tell them no on HB 2731 and yes on you would like the Constable to be what you elected them for, your local elected law enforcement constable and not just a paper pusher.