What’s a Constable?

Map Credit: Collin County Government Geological Information System

by Mike Rawlins, Collin County Chair, Plano TX – 11/8/19

As the filing period for a place on the primary ballot approaches, we’re still looking for people willing to run for some of these offices. And to help identify good prospects, we’re going to tell you a bit about each of these offices – what they do, necessary qualifications, and what you might look for in yourself or someone you know. We’ll start this week with a constable.

Most everyone has heard the title “constable” from books or old movies, but very few could accurately describe what a County Constable does in Texas. Here’s a brief description of the duties from the Texas Association of Counties:

  • Serves as a licensed peace officer and performs various law enforcement functions, including issuing traffic citations
  • Serves warrants and civil papers such as subpoenas and temporary restraining orders
  • Serves as bailiff for Justice of the Peace Court

In Collin County, constables oversee a small staff consisting of deputies and administrative support.

There are four Constable/Justice of the Peace Precincts as indicated by the map. All four Constables are elected in Presidential election years.

A Constable must be licensed as a Peace Officer in Texas. Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, Deputy Constables, and Prison Guards are the most common positions that have this license. Persons with a background as Military Police can usually obtain a license with supplemental instruction.

Good prospects for this office are people with peace officer licenses who have some degree of management experience. Ideal prospects are people living in the precinct and currently serving as Deputy Constables in other counties or bailiffs in Municipal Courts.

If you fit the profile or know someone who does, please contact John Shanks our Executive Director, or me.