Mailbag: Constables aren’t as crucial as they once were

Dear Mailbag,
Jul 19, 2014

Dear Mailbag,

As the election approaches, I want to be better informed in the choices I’m asked to make. With that thought, I wonder about the constable office. What is the responsibility for the office of constable in Wilson County? And what is the salary range for this position? Why do we need five zones represented by a constable?

Cheryl Lewis

Lebanon

Dear Cheryl, 

The Democrat referred your question to Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan for an answer. 

“Over the years, the constable has been an asset to the county,” Bryan said. “Mainly that is in smaller counties. As far as the restrictions and the training, there are some things that go into being a constable.”

Bryan said it is an elected office, but it is more of a title. 

“They have arrest powers,” he said. “They have to have a certain amount of training each year. There are restrictions on their vehicles and how each can be designated with reference to being a constable, what type of lights each can have, etc.”

Bryan said if an attorney needs a civil process, such as a subponea, the constable can serve those documents for a fee. But constables do not receive a salary. 

Each of the five constables in Wilson County represent a zone that is set up by the Wilson County Commission. The same five zones are used to divide the county among the representation of the five Wilson County Board of Education members and are subject to redistricting every 10 years following a Census just like several other districts that have representation. 

It’s also up to the Wilson County Commission as to whether the county has constables or abolishes them. Constables were abolished in several counties throughout Tennessee, but Bryan said they are needed in smaller, rural counties. 

“I plan to sit down with all of the constables and make sure they know what their boundaries are and let them know what their expectations are,” Bryan said. “We want to all work together. We currently do not have any constables who overstep their bounds.”

Mailbag is a new service of The Lebanon Democrat. Send questions to be answered to editor@lebanondemocrat.com, mail questions to The Lebanon Democrat, attention: mailbag, 402 N. Cumberland St., Lebanon, TN 37087 or call 615-444-3952, ext. 13. Mailbag questions may also be faxed to 615-444-1358. 

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