Commission To Consider Stripping Constables Of Powers

A resolution to to remove the law enforcement powers of Cannon County's constables is scheduled to be presented to the county commission Saturday.

The resolution will be offered by Third District Commissioner Kevin George, according to County Executive Mike Gannon.

It calls for "the law enforcement (conservator of the peace) powers of the office of constable in Cannon County" to be removed at last business day of the month in which the resolution is adopted at second reading."

Adoption of the resolution on both first and second readings requires a two-thirds vote of the 10-member commission.

According to the language put forth in the resolution, "improvements have been made over many years in the capability, professionalism and efficiency in the office of Sheriff, particularly regarding law enforcement."

It also asserts that "the lack of required training in law enforcement and the independence of constables from the Sheriff has made the exercise of law enforcement (conservator of the peace) powers by constables undesirable in Tennessee.

The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee through the enactment of Chapter 344 of the Public Acts of 1997 authorized county legislative bodies to remove the law enforcement powers of the office of constable upon two-thirds vote in two consecutive meetings.

The commission will meet Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Cannon County Courthouse. The first order of business will be to fill a vacant Fourth District seat on the body created by the recent death of Joe Wimberly.