Historical and Modern Day Perspectives on Constables

As far back as the 5th century, constables were officers of high rank in medieval monarchies or the keeper/governor of a royal fortress or castle.  In France, constables even commanded the armies in the King's absence.  They have been around a long time and are among the earliest recorded police officers in world history.  The office of constable is one of the oldest law enforcement positions in county government.  Here's a thumbnail sketch of some of the milestones and interesting facts regarding constables in the State of Texas:

  • 1823 Stephen F. Austin appointed two constables.
  • 1836, 1845, and 1861 Texas Constitutions recognized constables as primary law administrators.
  • 1876 Texas Constitution provided biennial elections of constables from each justice of the peace precinct.
  • 1954 Texas Constitution lengthens terms of office to four-year terms.
  • Constables are commissioned by the Governor of Texas as Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (T.C.L.E.O.S.E) licenses Constables.
  • November 2, 2004 May Walker elected Constable of Precinct 7.  Walker is the first woman and first African-American woman elected to this Harris County Position.