The June 16 hit piece by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, “Kentucky constables: untrained and unaccountable” was missing one important word in the headline: some.
Not all constables are the hillbilly cretins that the article appears to profess. Some constables are retired law enforcement professionals (state troopers, sheriffs, military etc.). The one-sided portrayal is a classic “lumping fallacy” that unfairly impugns constables and the people they serve.
Recently, a Mercer County constable spent three hours, without pay, in the hot sun directing traffic at a fatal accident site. I can also give you many previously unrecognized constable hero stories. Constables are the only law enforcement some Kentucky communities have and, in many cases, are force multipliers for existing agencies.
The issue plain and simple is the discriminatory policies of access to training for constables. Most want training and seek it. We live in increasingly perilous times that beg for increasing law enforcement assets, not their lessening. I expect the new visionary leadership in Frankfort to recognize this reality in the coming months, and the office of constable will return to its rightful place as a strong arm of justice and friend to the people of Kentucky.
Former Mercer County constable
Retired Navy lieutenant commander