Regardless of changes in its administrative nature, the office of constable has been authorized in early Texas constitution since the days of the Republic, but is in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Texas Penal Code, the Texas Local Government Code, and other assorted laws, rules, and regulations that the general duties of Texas Constables are spelled out in detail. Constables and Deputy Constables are classified as peace officers by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, and only after meeting specified qualifications, equivalent to those of all other peace officers in the state of Texas, are constables licensed by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Education (TCLEOSE).
A new amendment to the Texas Constitution, passed in 1977, requires constables to meet certain qualifications for office that were not enumerated in the Constitution. This amendment is expected to have little impact on this office due to the licensing and mandatory training requirements already in effect since 1985.
By command of Article 2.13 Code of Criminal Procedure, it is the duty of every peace officer to:
Licensing and Training
Beginning in 1985, Texas constables were required to be licensed by the state of Texas as peace officers within two-hundred and seventy days after taking office. To be licensed, a peace officer must take and pass the 1260-hour Basic Peace Officers Course at a state-licensed law enforcement academy. A recognized law-enforcement agency must then employ and notify TCLEOSE that it is commissioning an individual as a peace officer. (Because each constable's office is a recognized law enforcement agency, it is often the constable who notifies TCLEOSE of the election of a constable or the appointment of a deputy constable.) To maintain his license, a peace officer must attend in-service training, a total of forty hours - some specified by TCLEOSE - in any twenty-four month period. Mandatory twenty-four hours of civil process training is required every twenty-four months for all constables and deputy constables. The training, education, and licensing of peace officers in the state of Texas have come a long way since the early 1970s. and Justice Court suits where the amount in controversy does not exceed $5,000.00. The court exercises special jurisdiction when hearing cases involving forcible detainer and forcible entry and detailer and when conduction hearings to determine proper ownership of property seized by law enforcement officials. The Justice of the Peace is a magistrate who reviews probable cause, issues arrest and search warrants, and administers statutory warnings to defendants accused of felony crimes as well as to defendants arrested on warrants issued in other counties.