Fiscal Court passes ordinance on the use of blue lights

Jan. 26—In 2022, the state legislature passed House Bill 239. This new law ensures that elected constables of Kentucky are certified as peace officers as of January 1, 2023. In Tuesday's Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting, the court addressed the use of blue lights.

There are a few options constables have to get certified, including a 40-hour constable training offered once every four years.

One of many stipulations included were the use of blue lights which can only be used with the permission of each respective county's fiscal court.

"The court still gets to determine whether or not they have emergency equipment, and the sheriff gets to determine whether or not they have radios or 9/11 access," said County Attorney Martin Hatfield.

Other criteria includes constable's vehicles being marked as such and only having markings approved by the county.

Civil debts can't be collected in a constable's official capacity.

Constables have to carry a minimum of one million dollars in vehicle liability coverage.

Constables must pass background checks, must be licensed to drive, can't have inebriated driving charges, and must be licensed to drive.

Constables must present themselves before the county for approval and inspection to ensure they are following all mentioned stipulations.

If constables violate any of these stipulations, they wave their privileged use of emergency equipment.

During discussion it was brought up whether or not Pulaski County's "grandfathered-in" constables would need to meet the criteria in order to keep their blue lights.

Hatfield said they would not.

"The ones that are grandfathered in, if they had these two trainings" they will be able to keep their blue lights, said Hatfield.

It was also asked whether or not, if the constables were approved for blue lights, they could be covered under the fiscal court's insurance.

"That's up to you guys," said Hatfield. "I don't personally think it would be a good idea, but that's up to you guys."

The court was reminded they had a later meeting with the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo), and this would be discussed to determine whether this should be enacted.

The court unanimously moved to advertise the ordinance and then addressed the next item.