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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A bill that has cleared a Kentucky House committee would allow counties to abolish the office of constable.
The House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs approved the bill today, and it goes to the full House to be considered.
It would amend the state's constitution to allow counties to eliminate the office of constable. Constables have the same law enforcement powers as sheriffs but are not required to undergo the same training.
Kentucky's constitution established the office of constable in 1850. A 2012 state report said the office is outdated.
Back in October, David Whitlock was charged with assault and wanton endangerment after shooting an alleged shoplifter at the Walmart on Raggard Lane on Nov. 2, 2011. According to police reports, Whitlock was shopping at the store when he was alerted to a possible shoplifter.
Whitlock followed the woman, Tammie Ortiz, to her car, but she refused to stop. Whitlock later told police that his weapon discharged when Ortiz ran over his foot. She was wounded in the arm and face.
He entered an Alford plea and will not serve any time in jail if he completes a diversion program. He's also banned from serving as a law enforcement officer for the rest of his life. He will have to serve 15 years in prison if he violates the terms of that agreement.
The Kentucky Constable Association has opposed the effort to eliminate the post. It says constables should receive more training instead.