In Districts 3, 4, 15 and 16, Newberry received 791 votes.
In Districts 5, 8, 9 and 10, Dalls got 730 votes.
In Districts 13, 14, 17 and 18, Gunter garnered 599 votes.
The Constable is an elected public service office. It is the only elected office in which the elected individual receives no pay or compensation for serving in the office.
Constables were constituted in the original 1796 Tennessee Constitution, Article 6. This mandated that “every county SHALL elect a Sheriff, County Judge and sufficient number of Constables” to assure the keeping of the peace.
Section 8 of Tennessee Code is where the office gets its power and authority today.
This makes the office of Constable one of the oldest law enforcement professions in the state and Constables have been proud bearers of the title of “Peacekeeper” or “Peace Officer” for more than 212 years.
Currently, there are approximately 397 sworn Constables serving in 56 of the 96 counties in Tennessee. Forty Tennessee counties have either abolished the office completely or eliminated law enforcement powers of the office. Across the United States there remain Constables in approximately 18 states.
In this age of terrorism, drugs and crime the Constable is a valuable asset to police and sheriff’s offices, providing much needed additional manpower and at no cost to the taxpayers. Each Constable must provide his/her own vehicle and insurance, body armor, firearm and other equipment, pay for the fuel used for patrol, pay for bond and pay for legally mandated training.
Constables across Tennessee expend on the average of $1000 to $5000 initially after assuming office and an ongoing annual cost of $500 to $2,500 dollars per year in office, none of which is reimbursed or paid by any government entity or the taxpayer.
In Macon and those counties where the Constable is still a sworn peace officer, their law enforcement powers of arrest and enforcement carry the same weight and authority as regular police and sheriff’s and are valid anywhere in the State of Tennessee.
The Constable oath of office reads; “I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the State of Tennessee and the Constitution of the United States or America. I do solemnly swear I will well and truly serve the state in the office of Constable; that I will cause the peace of the state to be kept, to the best of my power; that I will arrest all such persons as go in my sight armed offensively, or who commit any riot, affray, or other breach of the peace, or I will use my best endeavor, on complaint made, to apprehend all felons, rioters, or person riotously assembled; and that, if such persons flee or make resistance, I will pursue, and make hue and cry, according to the law; that I will faithfully and without delay execute all and return all lawful process directed to me; and that I will well and truly, according to my power and ability, do and execute all other duties of the office of Constable, so help me GOD. “
There are two governing associations for Constables in Tennessee which are the Tennessee Constable Association and Tennessee Constable Council. These organizations are responsible for overseeing overall compliance with state law and training for Constables across the state.
Training requirements are 40 hours annual in-service, annual firearms training and specific uniform requirements. To hold office one must have no felony or domestic violence criminal record , be at least 21 years of age and capable of passing a TBI background check.
Tennessee law provides that the Constable is an executive office and according to Tennessee Supreme Court, the purpose of executive offices is to administer and enforce laws. Constables may patrol city and rural areas, arrest persons breaching the law, write citations for infractions, backup other officers, provide security presence at public or private events, provide emergency services, enforce game and fish laws, serve legal process for the courts, in fact, you may find your Constables whenever and wherever there are problems or emergencies in Macon County.
Macon County Constables have developed strong working relationships with all law enforcement agencies in the county and regularly assist the police, sheriff’s office, fire department, rescue squads and emergency medical services as well as other government agencies in times of emergency such as tornado, flood, fire, domestic disputes, drug interdiction and other public policing instances.
Demonstrating the good work and strong support the Constables have, in 2002 the Macon County Commissioners in a unanimous vote, passed a motion to never consider abolishment of the Constable Office in Macon County.
Your Constables are out there to serve and protect you, the citizens of Macon County and the State of Tennessee. They are the extra eyes and ears who support and augment our Sheriffs Deputies, Police Officers, Troopers, Rescue Squads, Fire Departments, EMS services and Wildlife Officers. Every time they put on their uniforms or carry out their duties, they place themselves in harms way to protect and serve you.