East Tennessee constables recognize former district attorney for decades of dedication to law enforcement

Published 8:14 am Thursday, July 11, 2019

Several constables from Carter and neighboring counties recently gave former attorney general David Crockett a plaque in recognition for his decades of service in Tennessee’s law enforcement and his work with the Constable Association.

“His door was always open,” 7th District Constable Ken Potter said.

Crockett said he has spent over 50 years in law enforcement, spending much of his time in the district attorney’s office as both an assistant and then full district attorney.

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“I am honored anybody remembers what we did,” Crockett said.

The constables said he has been an influential part of their history. Even state representative Timothy Hill said Crockett had an influence on his career.

“It is something very personal to me,” Hill said. “When I was running, my second stop was with David Crockett.”

He said Crockett had a political side to his job that made him a hub of strategy conversations for the entire community.

“To run in Carter County, you go see David Crockett,” Hill said.

Crockett said he has prided himself in prosecuting the law legally and fairly throughout his decades-long career.

“In my 40-year career, I have never worked with a district attorney who brought what Crockett brought,” Potter said. “He tops them.”

Harvey Shaffer, a constable for Carter County, said the constables would not be as effective as they are without his influence.

“We are the strongest constables in east Tennessee,” Shaffer said. “It is because of people like Crockett.”

This level of dedication is special, they said, because the concept of a constable is not universal across the state. Only a handful of counties have them.

“It is not like this across the state,” Hill said. “Tennessee is a very special place.”

He said this is why the constables’ achievements and those who work with them deserve such recognition whenever possible.

The constables said Crockett’s influence has reached into their training.

“He wanted the training so we would know what to do,” Shaffer said.

This kind of training was important, he said, because constables tend to be one of the first responders to any call. They need the training to know how to handle crime scenes and how to do traffic stops.

“Nobody does it for the money,” Sullivan County Constable Henry Price said. “It gets in your blood. You get a lot of satisfaction out of it.”