Commission resolution strips constables in county of law enforcement powers

Commission resolution strips constables in county of law enforcement powers
Staff Reporter
A pair of resolutions approved early today by the Obion County Commission formally establishes the number of constables for the county — seven — and essentially strips the constables of any law enforcement power.
The resolution regarding the law enforcement power will have to come back before the commission at its March meeting for second and final approval. A two-third vote is required to approved both resolutions, according to county attorney Steve Conley.
There will be one constable elected from each of the seven county commissioner districts, a change from the nine which currently are elected. The resolution was approved unanimously by the 17 commissioners in attendance at this morning’s commission meeting.
The second resolution establishes “that the law enforcement powers of the office of Constable of Obion County, Tennessee are hereby removed at the end of the current term of office of the current holders of the office of Constable in Obion County, Tennessee.”
The second resolution was approved by a 16-1 vote, with only commissioner Allen Nohsey voting against the resolution.
Constables will continue to be allowed to serve civil papers in the county.
The constable issue took up several minutes of today’s commission meeting. There were questions and concerns raised about what training the constables go through to maintain their certification as constables. Conley said there are conflicting standards between what appears on the Tennessee Constables Association’s website and the state law.
Chief Deputy Kent Treece, with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department, told commissioners constables are not governed by the Tennessee Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission, which governs all law enforcement officers in the state.
Constable James Hack, who also serves as the Samburg police chief, spoke out at today’s commission meeting, claiming the resolutions were “a personal vendetta against me” over a recent traffic ticket he issued to a female in his capacity as Samburg’s police chief. However, commission chairman Ralph Puckett ruled Hack out of order and called for a vote on the resolutions.
Absent from this morning’s commission meeting were commissioners Tim Doyle, Jim Bondurant, Cloney Taylor and Ned Bigelow. Today’s meeting was opened in prayer by commissioner Danny Jowers and the Pledge of Allegiance led by commissioner Richard Arnold.
A follow-up on other matters dealt with at today’s commission meeting will appear in Wednesday’s edition of The Messenger.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at Published in The Messenger 1.17.12

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