Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Dunmore, Pennsylvania
    (Lackawanna County)
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    Default State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Food for thought................The recent incident involving gnbrotz and the state constable has me once again pondering if I should run for constable in the next election.
    I first became acquainted with the office of Constable in PA through a friend of an employee. She related to me a tale involving her boyfriend. It seemed he had sublet an apartment with a friend. He agreed to pay half the rent. There was no lease, just a handshake. As these things usually do, the situation soured and he moved out. He refused to pay anymore towards the rent. . The landlord decided to seek payment from the employee's boyfriend even though there was no lease or signed agreement.
    A local constable called and threatened arrest if he refused to pay. The constable called and demanded the whereabouts of her boyfriend, and to come get her also.
    Her question to me was "Can he do that?".

    My advise was "Tell the constable to kiss your ass, he has no authority to use the office of constable to collect debts." He called my work site repeatedly, then one day I had enough, I answered the phone and told him off. He threatened to come over and arrest me too. Now I was mad.My quest began. I had to find out, Who the hell are constables, how much authority do they really have? I was suprised and shocked at what I found.

    In Pennsylvania the office Constable is largely an anachronism from the past. It has it's roots in English and common law. That is why the Constable's patch says "First in Law Enforcement" As the office exists today, it is a local office usually elected on the ward level. Anyone can run for constable in their ward very easily. NO LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE needed ! Twelve signatures on a petition, and you are on the ballot A constable may also be appointed if an opening exists. Constables have only two areas of responsibility under Pennsylvania law. One is to provide coverage at the polling places, the other is to serve the minor judiciary as security and warrant service. The constables authority to serve warrants is state-wide. Constables are private contractors who are paid a fee per warrant or service. As independent contractors they must pay all out of pocket expenses. That includes uniforms, vehicles, weapons and insurance. Some constables claim to make a comfortable living, most do not.

    Constables have a little arrest power in PA. What arrest power they have is directly tied to the warrant in their hand. They can arrest for "crimes on view", in other words if they see a crime. Much like a citizens arrest. They CAN NOT do traffic stops. They CAN NOT have emergency lights on their vehicles. They are paid a set fee for every warrant served. . Most constables in PA never perform the duties of the office once elected The constables who do make a job out of it are mostly confined to serving paper for the minor judiciary (District Court). No constable can be "on patrol" in Pennsylvania unless they are a "sworn officer" with PA. Act 120 training. Quite frankly, most constables are looked upon with disdain by most of the Law Enforcement community.

    Now having said all of this negative stuff......I had an idea. Why not run for constable myself. If elected I would be provided with 120 hours of training by the State. Forty hours of firearms training. I would get a State of PA badge and a State of Pa credential. If I understand the law correctly I am not required to carry liability insurance unless I ACTUALLY do some work for the local district justice. However a constable is not compelled to work for any court.
    Now with my new badge and ID I would be able to carry concealed in every state in the Union. I could carry in Washington D.C., or even New York City ! It seems that PA State Constables are covered by LEOSA, that nifty cops only country wide reciprocity act. Yes there has already been a court case involving a PA constable, constables are covered under LEOSA . My fellow packers, there are 3800 wards in Pennsylvania. Constables can has deputies appointed. That means there are 7200 potential constable positions in PA
    There has got be a few hundred openings. Check with your local Board of Elections. Find out if your Ward is covered. If not run in the next election. Better yet seek the nomination on both tickets. It only takes 12 signatures on a nominating petition.

    If we can't beat them, lets join them. Just think of it, you can write of firearms as a tax deduction. Best of all the Sheriff can't revoke anything.

    Oh and getting back to that nasty constable who got me interested. Seems he is no longer a constable. Lets just say he was doing lots of things he should not have been doing. (like using his constable badge in his debt collection business). He got caught. I wonder how that happened?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Gone from here
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Interesting read. Where did you get this information from?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Good info :thumb:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
    Age
    39
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Very interesting. National carry privileges would be nice to have.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    lebanon, Pennsylvania
    (Lebanon County)
    Age
    45
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Quote Originally Posted by CZ40P View Post



    . Most constables in PA never perform the duties of the office once elected
    ??? somebody would go through the hassle to get elected, only to not show up?
    it's only metal, we can out think it....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
    (Susquehanna County)
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    I'd check into the national carry ?? I was under the impression that only LEOs in preformance of there duties have that right ! Or your a federal marshal, or FBI, not even CIA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    49
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Quote Originally Posted by larrymeyer View Post
    I was under the impression that only LEOs in preformance of there duties have that right !
    Nope, not correct. Not since 2004 anyway...
    The law
    Last edited by Pa. Patriot; November 24th, 2007 at 11:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    39
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Quote Originally Posted by brian View Post
    ??? somebody would go through the hassle to get elected, only to not show up?
    I've just done some looking into this, and apparently, the township I'm in already has a constable, but I've never seen him working my polling place. I guess some people just like having the title.

    Here's an interesting web forum with a section for constables.

    http://www.policeworld.net/vb/forumdisplay.php?f=47

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
    Age
    39
    Posts
    412
    Rep Power
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    Here's another site I just found.

    http://paconstable1.proboards41.com/



    On another note, it looks like most of the constable positions are up for re-election in 2009.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pittsburgh
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    Default Re: State Constables, the best kept secret in PA.

    I was in downtown pgh tonight and there was a constable there, and his car litterally had constable in 4ft letters al the way down each side, a big badge on the back, and some other stuff, no lights that i noticed, but still i found it very odd and he was out in uniform walking around. wasn't any special events going on or anything either

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