Commonwealth Journal

News Live

November 12, 2012

Position of constable called into question by state agency


Somerset —

“I could go out today and not look for nothing, and you could find five people to book in jail,” he said. “... You meet a lot of good people and a lot of good people in bad situations.”
He said that numerous people on his district call him regularly when they have a problem, and that he’s made arrests “for everything from alcohol intoxication to trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in heroin.” 
Palmer noted that Pulaski County’s magistrates do require a certain amount of training hours that constables must complete in order to run the blue lights on their vehicles. Again, however, a constable has to be willing to fork out his own money to do this.
“Any money that I spend buying blue lights or weapons comes out of my own pocket,” he said. “The money I make delivering summonses, that pays for the equipment that I purchase. I get nothing from the county. The gasoline I use comes out of my own pocket.”
Palmer said he’s maintained a “good rapport” with the local sheriff’s office and police department — he covers area in downtown Somerset and up Ky. 2227 towards Science Hill — and Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood was generally friendly toward the local constables ... for the most part.
“Here in this community over the years, we’ve been blessed to have constables assist local law enforcement in many ways, but not step on toes or get in the way,” said Wood. “On the other hand, we very much have had constables on the other side of things.
“Probably the most important thing is training and making sure everyone is on the same course, everyone is up to date on new issues that arise that law enforcement has to deal with.”
Even the constables who stay out of the way present a bit of an adversarial relationship with the law enforcement agencies however. Palmer said that the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association “shuts us out” of training opportunities, and that “the sheriff’s association is so strong, there’s no way the (Kentucky Constable Association) can go up against it and fight it.”

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