About the Precinct 3 Constable’s Office
Constables are among the earliest recorded police officers in world history. From a very humble beginning in the 5th century, by the turn of the 6th century they were chief household officers. In France, Constables commanded the armies in the Kings absence. Becoming noted peacekeepers under King William ‘The Conqueror’ in 1066 Constables responsibilities were expanded with the adoption of the Magna Carta, which not only became the pattern for most of the worlds Constitutions, but also mentioned Constables in written law. Constables have served the Justice Court system since 1362. In 1583 William Lambard published the first Policy & Procedure manual for Law Enforcement. It’s primary purpose was to outline the duties of the Constable. The office of Constable is the oldest law enforcement position in county government.
In Texas, Stephen F. Austin included constables in the 1823 proposed Codes of Civil and Criminal Regulations, later approved by the Mexican government for the administration of justice within Austin’s colonies. The first two constables were appointed in Austin’s Colony that same year.
The Constitution of the Republic of Texas, signed March 17, 1836, established that a “sufficient number of constables” be elected , and the office of constable was included in the Texas Constitution of 1845, 1869 and 1876.
Over the years, some familiar figures have spent part of their life and career as a constable or deputy constable, including Virgil and Wyatt Earp, John Selman, “Wild Bill” Hickok and Texas Ranger Clint Peoples for whom the Montgomery County Regional Training Academy was named.
Today, more than 750 elected constables serve the citizens of the State of Texas. As authorized peace officers, constables are the first link in the county’s chain of law enforcement, and they function as the chief process servers of the Justice Courts. This gives residents a voice in the law enforcement services they receive.
Constables have state-wide jurisdiction to execute criminal process and warrants. They have county-wide and contiguous county-wide jurisdiction to execute civil process. They also may execute process issued by some other state agencies.