What is a Constable?

“Grass Roots Law Enforcement”

Constables date back to the Roman Empire as one of the oldest positions of law enforcement. From early frontier days to the 21st Century, the Arkansas Constable has stood trained and ready to protect the peace. Township Constables deal with disturbances, emergencies, violation of the law, fire and rescue operations, weather crisis, and citizen calls for help. Arkansas Constables are voluntary, Constitutionally-elected peace officers who are uniformed, equipped and trained to State statute and standards. They constitute a significant law enforcement presence in our counties.

According to the Arkansas State Constitution, a constable is an officer of the township in the county in which he/she has been elected. Constables serve under the executive branch of government, along with other elected officers including the State Treasurer, Secretary of State, County Sheriffs, County Coroners, and all State Militia officers.

Each township within the state is authorized to have a constable. There are approximately 1400 townships in Arkansas, but only about 700 constables. It is believed this shortage has resulted from a lack of understanding by the electorate and various county governments as to the benefits of law enforcement at the grass roots level.

The constable has the broad, primary responsibility of ensuring that the laws of the County, State, and Country are faithfully executed. Willing men and women who feel called to serve may be elected for two-year terms by the voters of the township in which he or she lives.

While constables are required to perform many of the same duties as other law enforcement officers, they do not receive compensation or monies for expenses. They are required to provide their own uniforms, equipment, and transportation.

Truly, being a constable is a labor of love. Love for one’s neighbors and community. Arkansas Constables are dedicated, hard-working citizens who desire justice and peace through service to others.

If you have questions about Constables contact your local constable. If you need to know who your local Constable is, your County Clerk has that contact information.