The Louisville Metro Council’s Public Safety Committee vote unanimously to put tighter restrictions on constables.
The move came after Jefferson County Constable David Whitlock shot an accused shoplifter in the arm and face. Questions have been raised about Whitlock’s use of force and his decision to deputize staff, which former Mayor Jerry Abramson did not allow.
The ordinance specifically prohibits constables from furnishing their vehicles with emergency equipment, wearing official badges or uniforms and appointing deputies without the mayor and council’s consent.
Councilman David James, D-6, sponsored the ordinance. He says the state-mandated position of constable is useless in a major city.
“In Jefferson County, we have absolutely no need for a constable to have peace officer powers, especially a peace officer with no training, and a gun and a badge is a very dangerous public safety issue,” he says.