Voters nix office

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2002

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The amendment to abolish the office of constable passed with an approval of 71 percent: 2,319 voted for it and 938 voted against it.

"I am 100 percent for that. Most of what they can do, they can do as a citizen anyway. We have enough government and people in charge. We need less government.

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We were one of the very few counties left with constables," said Commissioner Charles Meeks.

According to Meeks, one of the problems with the constables is they are not under any kind of jurisdiction.

Alabama Rep. Allan Boothe said he was asked by the Pike County Commission to bring the legislation to the county’s attention.

"The constables go back to Old English law. When you have law enforcement whose salary is determined by the number of papers they serve, that’s a bad precedent to set," Boothe said.

Probate Judge Bill Stone said he was not surprised by the outcome of the amendment. However, he said he would not have been surprised either way.

"I really couldn’t get a feel for what the people wanted, because I heard people from both sides talk about it. I heard the pro’s and the con’s," Stone said.

Although Constable John Sanders is a little disappointed by the people’s decision, he said he is just glad the people were able to decide for themselves.

"I expected it. So many times the City of Troy over carries the rural areas. The City of Troy is well protected. It is the rural parts of Pike County that will be neglected. We simply do not have the manpower to cover all of Pike County, but the people have spoken.

"It’s the people in the country, who don’t have the protection, that will come up lacking in the future and that’s the sad thing.

"I’ll just finish my term and then hang up my badge and just call a cop.

"Hopefully, the Commission will do something to add protection to Pike County," Sanders said.

Sanders will carry out the rest of his term, which will end Dec. 31 2004.

Many of Alabama’s 67 counties have abolished the office of constable over the years.