Constables continue crucial week of training

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

In a hostile situation on the road, staying up to date with knowledge is key.
The ability to know the surrounding and current state laws come naturally for constables that take part in the annual training program offered by the Carter County Constables Association. As week one of training comes to a close, instructor Ken Potter was able to give constables a ‘crash’ course of sorts on Thursday, May 4, by discussing the operations of being behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle.
“We’re doing emergency vehicle operation tonight,” Potter said. “Traffic stops, field, and DUI checkpoints. We had some plans of doing inspection examples, but we’re waiting to see how the weather holds up.”
Constables have the authority to pursue in a chase, but the letter of the law, including state law 55-8-108, was heavily preached by Potter during the training session. While municipal police departments have some type of protection when it comes to petitioning ligation, Potter added it was important that constables know the lay of the land.
Nights like Thursday have been refreshers of sorts for the constables as they go through classroom-like settings.
“We’ll actually be here tonight then tomorrow we’ll have attorney Jim Bowman coming,” Potter said. “He’ll be doing courtroom procedure and witness testimony from officers in court … all kinds of those issues along with search-and-seizure.”
Potter added that officers would begin firearms training Saturday and continue throughout the week before graduation on Thursday.
Constables are subjected to extensive training in over 20 subjects, and the sessions have been an eye-opener, according to resident Steve Jackson.
“I think the constables, at least from what I’ve seen, are not very well-understood and very appreciated because we don’t know what they do,” Jackson said. “(The classes) have opened my eyes.
“The gentleman beside me asked if I learned anything, and I said ‘yeah, I wouldn’t want to do your job.’ It has got to be difficult. I’ve got nothing but respect for them,” he continued. “It is a very complicated dance.”
Potter encouraged citizens wanting to know more about what constables are legally able to do can stop by throughout the remaining of the week.
“I think everyone would benefit from seeing this type of class,” Jackson said. “You don’t know what’s going on the other side of the phone when you call the dispatcher. I have a new respect for these guys.”
Classes run through next Thursday at the Carter County Rescue Squad Center in Stoney Creek. Each class tentatively starts around 6 p.m.
Contact Potter at for more information.

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