Groton Constable


James Downing 1st Constable


The town shall elect a first constable and may vote to elect a second constable. 17 V.S.A. 2646(7), 2651a. The constable is a law enforcement officer, as defined by 54(c)(6) of the Vermont Rules of Criminal Procedure, and as such has the authority to arrest, and has powers of search and seizure within the town.


He or she may:

Kill injured deer (10 V.S.A. 4749);

Assist the health officer in the discharge of his or her duties (18 V.S.A. 617);

Serve as a district court officer (24 V.S.A. 296); and

Remove disorderly persons from town meeting (17 V.S.A. 2659).

Vermont law requires a basic training course of a minimum of forty-five hours for a part-time law enforcement officer. The definition of "part-time law enforcement officer" specifically includes "a constable who exercises law enforcement powers." 20 V.S.A. 2358. However, section (d) of that section states that the basic training is optional for any elected official. Notwithstanding these sections of Title 20 of the statutes, a town may vote (a) to prohibit constables from exercising any law enforcement authority or (b) to prohibit constables from exercising any law enforcement authority without having successfully completed a course of training under Chapter 151 of Title 20. 24 V.S.A. 1936a. The jurisdiction of a constable is limited to the boundaries of his or her town or city.