What it takes to be a constable
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Constables are some of the oldest law enforcement officers in the world, tracing their origins to France in the 5th century.
In Pennsylvania, constables in the territory called Penn's Woods began serving in the year 1664.
Under state law, constables are elected in their home municipality but can serve warrants throughout the state once they receive certification. Most, however, work with their local district judge.
Boroughs and cities elect two constables per ward, so a city with six wards could have as many as 12 elected constables. Smaller townships elect one constable.
Their elected term is for six years.
Under state law, constables must undergo 80 hours of legal training and 80 hours of firearms training to obtain state certification, which is required to serve warrants in the county court system.
The state certification is for one year only, and constables must obtain an additional 20 hours of updated legal training and 20 hours of firearms training each year.
Constables can obtain yearly updates at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Community College of Allegheny County and Westmoreland County Community College.
First Published July 26, 2012 4:39 am