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"What Is a Pennsylvania Constable?"
 
 
History of the Constable
 

Constable's are the oldest law enforcement position in the world. History records Constable's in France in the beginning of the 5th century, when they were known as the Counts of the King's Stables. By the turn of the 6th century they were the Chief Household Officers and commanded the Armies in the King's absence. In the year 871 AD King Alfred of England, declared the Constable was the highest judge in the military and in matters of chivalry and honor. He was also named by the King to be the supreme arbitrator in tilts, tournaments, and martial displays.

The first Constables in the territory called Penn's Woods began serving in the year 1664. In the year 1681 Pennsylvania officially became a Commonwealth and in 1787 became a Commonwealth State of the U.S.A. Constables were amongst the first public officials of the Commonwealth

The first recorded law enforcement officer of the State to be killed in the line of duty was a Constable in Venango County in the year 1825.

Today

Constables in Pennsylvania are elected and serve a six-year term, they are Peace Officers by virtue of the office they hold, upon completing state certification and training, they may also serve as the Law Enforcement Arm of the Court. Constables primarily serve the District Courts but may also assist in serving the Common Pleas Court, when requested by the Sheriff.

As Public Officials Constables are required to file an annual Statement of Financial Interests with the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission .

Each Constable may with approval of the President Judge, appoint Deputies to work under his authority. Each Deputy is given the same authority as the Constable himself, but serves at the pleasure of the elected Constable.

Constable’s are considered to be the "Peoples Peace Officer" because of their Constitutional origin, and as elected officials they are independent of other governing bodies, this gives the Constable the freedom and authority to perform his duties according to statute, in the interest of justice.

The duty of the Constable is to uphold the law fairly and firmly: to pursue and bring to justice those who break the law; to keep the peace; to protect, help and reassure the community: and to be seen to do all this with integrity, common sense and sound judgment.

We must be compassionate, courteous and patient, acting without fear or favor or prejudice to the rights of others. We need to be professional, calm and restrained in the face of violence and apply only that force which is necessary to accomplish our lawful duty.

We must strive to reduce the fears of the public and, so far as we can, to reflect their priorities in the action we take.

What is a Constable ?

Under Pennsylvania Law, Constables are Public Officers, elected or appointed to their position in accordance with the laws of elections.

A Constable is a sworn Law Enforcement / Peace Officer that can arrest for felony crimes and breaches of the peace committed in his presence, or by warrant anywhere in the commonwealth.

A Constable is also an officer empowered to carry out the business of the statewide district court system, by serving warrants of arrest, mental health warrants, transporting prisoners, service of summons, complaints and subpoenas, and enforcing protection from abuse orders as well as orders of eviction and judgment levies.

Constables are also charged with maintaining order at the election polls and ensuring that no qualified elector is obstructed from voting, Constables are the only Law Enforcement Officials permitted at the polls on election day.

While Constables primarily serve the Courts, they belong to the executive branch of government.

Constables are elected at the municipal level, however State law governs Constables and they have statewide authority, thus the title became "State Constable".

Constables are empowered to enforce both criminal and civil laws, Police Officers are empowered to enforce criminal and traffic laws, Sheriff's are the chief law enforcement officer of the County and are empowered to enforce criminal, civil and traffic laws.

 

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"How Do Constables Get Paid?"
 
 Constables also perform various other services for  Magisterial District Judges such as Prisoner Transports and Courtroom Security.  Constables are paid through the District Courts for services performed for the Court.  Fees are stipulated by State Law in The Constables Fee Bill (Act 44-as Amended 2006).  This law ensures billing for services rendered is fair and equitable statewide.  Act 44 breaks down to an exact detail what a Constable may bill for and how much may be charged.   These fees are paid by the Plaintiff in Civil Cases and the Defendant in Criminal Cases, making a State Constable the most cost effective official to the taxpayer, as tax revenue is seldom, if ever, used for Constable Fees. 
 
Constables also perform various other services for Attorneys, individuals and can work for municipalities.  Fees are set in advance for the service performed. 
 
 
"How Can You Find A Constable?"  See Below, Constable Search
 
Constables are available to the public 24 hours a day , 7 days a week.  Often Constables are contacted by Attorneys or individuals for private service of Subpoenas , armed escort service, security issues, Landlord/Tenant cases, Protection from Abuse ( PFA) service and personeal property retrievals in domestic cases.  Again, even in these situtations, the Constables's fee does not burden the taxpayer, the recipient of the service is solely responsible to pay the fee.
 
 

 

John J. Crerand
 
Pennsylvania State Constable
Pike County
 
P.O. Box 1147    Milford, Pa 18337
 
Phone 570-686-3166  Fax 570-686-9489 E-mail JCrerand@ptd.net
 
 
 
To obtain a new list of Pike County Constables, Deputy Constables and other State Certified Constables,
Click Here
 
 
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