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Febuary 23, 2018

Lawrence County schools not alone in safety problems

USING UNTRAINED CONSTABLES IS AT ISSUE

In a dramatic move by the Shelby County Fiscal Court, magistrates lent unanimous approval to require constables to take out a bond of $1 million each before taking office.

Lawrence Co. District 1 Constable Paul Wells with Sheriff Garrett Roberts. Wells is a trained deputy having served in that capacity on numerous occasions. He may be the only Lawrence Co. Constable who has such training. Roberts, up to now has not been in favor in granting more police power to the Constables, some of which are serving as guards in Lawrence County Schools as a safety precaution after the school shooting in Florida last week.Lawrence Co. District 1 Constable Paul Wells with Sheriff Garrett Roberts. Wells is a trained deputy having served in that capacity on numerous occasions. He may be the only Lawrence Co. Constable who has such training. Roberts, up to now has not been in favor in granting more police power to the Constables, some of which are serving as guards in Lawrence County Schools as a safety precaution after the school shooting in Florida last week.

Shelby County Judge-Executive Dan Ison said he suggested the increase, from a $10,000 to a $1 million bond because he believes that anytime a person without police training is allow to carry a gun, there is a great potential for trouble.

"That [higher bond] is to protect the county, because as a constable, you have the right to carry arms without any police training, and I am concerned it they got involved in any type of legal situation that we wouldn’t have adequate protection for the county," he said.

 

“They’re not like Barney Fife with just one bullet in his pocket – they have their bullets in their guns,” he said. “The sheriff and his people are highly trained and constables have no training whatsoever.”

This means if elected, a constable would be required to pay from 1 to 10 percent of the bond, which, at $1 million, would range between $10,000 and $100,000 per year, an increase from $100.

Insurance officials said the cost varies because the cost of the bond depends somewhat on the constable’s credit rating.

How did Ison come up with his million-dollar figure?

"The typical homeowner today is looking at having a million dollar umbrella policy to supplement their insurance; what I’m looking at is a protective action by the magistrates," he said.

Magistrates at Tuesday's meeting of the Shelby County Fiscal Court didn’t comment much on the issue, although Tony Carriss observed that no constables were present at the meeting to give their input on the matter.

By Lisa King
The Sentinel-News

Read "The rest of the story" HERE

Comments  

+2 #3 VoteSmart 2018-02-24 19:51
Constable Daniel Castle that has been working Blaine School this past week has a background in Law Enforcement 10+ years consisting of both Military Police and deputy sheriff and constable for the past 3 years. Other than Castle and Wells I'm not sure any other constable has any experience or training..
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+3 #2 Amy 2018-02-24 05:33
Paul is a good guy. Well trained, but the other constables? Some are just not trained at all and a few, are simply not trust worthy. This is something to keep in mind when we vote.
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+2 #1 Carol ebersole 2018-02-23 23:20
Why can't we ask for a grant we are a poor region, well it worth a try for are school district, let get together on this we all will help , call are state rep. For metal detector an security,guard prayers is great but not the answer,my opinion
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