Crowe recognized by E-T Constables Assoc.
Published 12:32 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022
State Senator Rusty Crowe of Johnson City was recently recognized by the East Tennessee Constables Association for the work he along with Rep. Scotty Campbell of Mountain City did in getting a new law passed in the last General Assembly recognizing their organization as a legal entity.
As such the ET Constables Association is authorized to provide inservice and other educational programs for constables, including yearly firearms training and weapons qualification. Previously, the law mentioned only the Tennessee Constable Association and the Tennessee Constable Council as the recognized organizations for such training and qualification.
The recognition in state law is quite an accomplishment for the East Tennessee Constables Association. The organization was founded a little over four years ago.
“We have made great progress in getting laws passed that upgrade the office of constable,” said Ken Potter, training officer for the ET Constables Association.
“Constables do not get any money or benefits from the government,” said Kent Harris, a Sullivan County constable and president of the ET Constables Association.
“All their expenses, including vehicle and gas, uniforms and other equipment are borne by the constable,” Potter said.
Potter said he learned the value of a good constable when he was serving as chief deputy of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.
He said constables were quite knowledgeable about the communities they serve and when his deputies came upon a crime scene, they often found that a constable was already present, guarding the crime scene from being disturbed until investigators could arrive.
Harris said the law introduced by Crowe and Campbell and passed by the General Assembly allows constables to get their training from a local organization.
Potter said the training for constables is established by state law. Potter said the East Tennessee Constables Association would ensure that each constable in its organization will receive quality training under current law, including 40 hours of in-service training each year, and range qualification.
Potter said if a constable fails to get the training mandated by the law, it is a misdemeanor punishable by a civil penalty and removal from office. “We take this training seriously and the law must be followed,” Potter said.
“Good training keeps constables abreast of the changing laws and keeps them within the scope of the law,” Harris said.