The Need for Higher Standards for Alabama Constables

The Need for Higher Standards for Alabama Constables

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Leo Bullock, a man who has served as a Mobile County Constable for thirty years, is hoping the next legislative session will set higher standards for the oldest law enforcement office in the state.

A bill in the 2012 session failed.  It would have set standards and training minimums for those who decided to run for the office.

There are slots for 99 constables in Mobile County, one for each precinct.  Many run unopposed.  Others who are elected fail to pay bonds and effectively vacate the office.  There are perhaps two dozen now who wear a uniform, pay for their own cars and guns.

Constables are certified by the state as law enforcement officers, legally able to carry a badge and a gun.  They help in many instances of traffic enforcement, funeral escorts, and serving court papers.

Sheriff Sam Cochran says he would use constables more to help save money in serving papers, but he wants higher standards.

Right now there are few standards allowing almost anyone, except convicted felons to run for the office. 

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