What is the Difference Between A Constable and A Police Officer?

A Constable may NOT enforce any provisions of the vehicle code (such as speeding, stop sign violations, etc), and they may NOT perform criminal investigations, which municipal and state police are authorized to do. For example, the neighbor of a Constable cannot contact him to investigate a burglary that was just discovered or to investigate vandalism to their vehicle.

Also, in general, Constables do not respond to emergency 9-1-1 calls, although many Constables do provide various types of law-enforcement related assistance to their local or state police agencies in many areas of the state. Many Constables provide back-up to their local agencies or provide crucial services at emergency scenes, such as traffic control and scene security.

A Constable, however, is most certainly, both by definition and by law, considered as a “Law Enforcement Officer”, and maintains much of the same type of “police authority” that their brothers and sisters in municipal or state police departments have while performing their court duties, such as the service of arrest warrants.

Additionally, assaulting a Constable is graded as a felony and held in the same regard as assaulting a municipal police officer, sheriff, game warden, etc.

The clearest difference between a “police officer” and a “Constable” is that a Constable maintains both civil and criminal authority or duties, while police officers maintain only criminal authority and duties. In other words, a police officer cannot perform an eviction while a Constable can, and a Constable cannot perform a DUI traffic arrest while a police officer can.

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