Winchester announces candidacy for 4th District constable

Published 11:33 am Friday, April 15, 2022

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Jim Winchester announces running for the county office of constable in the 4th District. Check him out on Facebook: Jim Winchester for Constable.

Carter County will elect 17 law enforcement officers. Sixteen are constables — two constables in each of the eight commissioner districts.

The constables are independent elected county peace officers with equal law enforcement authority to that of the sheriff, and they don’t work for the sheriff and are not under his management.

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Constables are unfunded by the county as they buy their gear at great personal expense.

Winchester values constables because they are independent, they make their own decisions about law enforcement priorities and how to achieve them.

That appeals because he decided initially to run for constable to support the law enforcement needs of the Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter (ECCAS).

ECCAS investigates animal complaints with a budget for a single, non-law enforcement animal control officer. Many people are complaining about animal abuse, neglect, or just plain owner irresponsibility.

Everyone who signed his petition to get on the ballot agreed the shelter needs help. Winchester thinks it’s a good constable mission to take a bite out of animal abuse.

His last five years in uniform were with the Denver Reserve Police, 50 volunteer Denver cops with the same uniform, patrol cars, and authority as the paid Denver cops.

Training included 320 hours at the Denver Police Academy, eight times more than Tennessee requires for constables.

Winchester is happy not to have collected on the grand funeral promised! It was tough duty but rewarding to make people less afraid.

In his spare time, he was an Assistant US Attorney.

It is very easy for some police executives to think that the constables are too free-wheeling for their tastes; it makes them anxious.

Having worked with volunteer cops, Winchester worries less. Sheriff candidates Kim Birchfield, Mike Fraley, and Tom Smith have all endorsed restoring the constables to their former glory. Winchester says he can work with them.

On the personal side, he has been married for 30 years, is a Christian, fosters orphan kittens, and has seven cats.

He has been involved in public and charitable service his whole life and did some graduate study at Denver Seminary, once known as the Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary.

Winchester and wife, Toni, and are aficionados of the 1911 pistol and black rifles and were competitive Cowboy Action shooters and enjoyed dressing Old West.

Their farmland has the cutest white-footed black calf ever! Winchester asks that everyone vote for him!