Eddie Armer, Gila County Constable, has been named to the newly formed Constable Ethics Committee.
The committee includes four constables, two justice court judges and one superior court judge as well as a director, county administrator and civilian.
Armer was instrumental in the drive to form the committee, which was passed by the senate and became effective Aug. 9, 2001.
"We have been trying to get an ethics committee for the last nine years," Armer said.
The committee will establish a code of conduct as well as training requirements for constables.
"Prior to this, a constable could not be fired unless convicted of a felony," Armer said.
According to Armer, the only way to dismiss an inept constable would be to hold a recall. The committee will be responsible for hearing complaints against constables statewide.
"Constables have never had to answer to anyone," Armer said. "There has been no accountability."
Traditionally, Armer said, a constable is elected, sworn in, but never given guidelines to do the job.
Armer was instrumental in drafting a training manual for constables several years ago, however, there were no requirements for a new constable to take the training.
One of the goals of the committee is to implement mandatory training. Armer would like to have all constables attend a 40-hour school with instruction in civil law, as well as firearms certification.
There are two constables in Gila County. Armer handles the duties for the northern half. Jess Bollinger, a retired police officer, is the constable for the southern half.
Armer said he is also under contract with the Town of Payson as well as the Payson Unified School District to serve all their civil papers. Armer said he serves an average of 235 to 265 papers a month. He has been a constable for more than 11 years and will be up for re-election in 2002.
The first organizational meeting for the committee will be Nov. 29 at the Arizona State Courts Building in Phoenix.