Friday, October 19, 2018

Law enforcement

What is the difference between sheriff, police, justice of the peace and constable? Do we still have these positions? They all existed in Topeka in 1897.  I have found them all in my research so far.  So, I put this question to Doug Mauck, a retired deputy sheriff.  Here is our conversation:

DM :  The Sheriff has responsibility for everything in the county, including the towns and cities. The police have responsibility to enforce ordinances governing their city. Small towns may elect a Justice of the Peace to try offenders of city ordinances. The JP need not be an attorney. Larger towns may establish city courts and elect or appoint judges to preside over them. City police usually have agreements for mutual aid, etc. with the County Sheriff.

Me:  What about the constable? So, the Justice of the Peace was sort of like a local district attorney is now? They were elected--it appears annually at this time.

DM:   Constables could be elected or appointed, depending on the city ordinance establishing the office. They may or not be sworn in as special deputy sheriffs. The JP served as a judge on violations of city ordinances brought forth by the constable or city police. Cases ruled upon by the JP could be appealed to the District Court. 
The Justice of the Peace is a judge, so it's not a district attorney.

No comments:

Post a Comment