Law men no longer needed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The unqualified &8220;quasi-law enforcement&8221; position of constable has no place in an efficient, fast growing county such as ours.

And one local legislator is trying to do something about it.

State Representative Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) has once again introduced legislation to try to do away with the unpaid position of constable. Constables in our county are often chosen through uncontested elections which require no qualifications or formal training.

Ward is doing so at the request of Sheriff Chris Curry and local police chiefs. The problem is constables have arrest powers and sometimes carry weapons and use blue lights.

Yet they have no purpose to serve. And as Ward sees it, they could be a liability.

In Shelby County constables don&8217;t even serve legal papers such as warrants, which was one of the few things the postion still had going for itself in recent years.

In this day and age, there is no place for an unqualified person with a gun and blue light, no training and nothing to do.

The last time Ward tried to eliminate this position, it failed to come up for a vote in the Senate. Hopefully, this time around both branches of government and Gov. Riley will pass the legislation.

This time let us hope wisdom prevails and the position of constable is allowed to fade into the past like the hand-cranked telephone of yester year