Thursday, January 19, 2012

In pursuit of limited government

Where are the voices calling for limited government when we need them?

Where are the voices of the teabaggers, libertarians and wingnuts when it comes to the overpolicing of America?

Last week Jack Abercia resigned his post as Harris County Constable for Precinct One in the face of a federal indictment on corruption charges. As it turns out, all eight Harris County Constables are being investigated in one fashion or another by the County Attorney's Office.

But why do we even have constables anymore? They are a relic from another time. We already have the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the Houston Police Department, the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police Department,  the Port of Houston Police, the University of Texas Police Department, the University of Houston Police Department, police departments in all of the little bedroom communities within the city limits of Houston and those in the county, and of the school districts in the county.

Why is it that the proponents of limited government are nowhere to be heard when the issue of overpolicing arises? Why is it that they have nothing to say when the power of the government is used to infringe upon the freedom and liberty of the citizenry and not the corporations?

There is no need for this level of policing in Harris County. Duplicate functions need to be eliminated. If we are going to keep a constable's office in Harris County, the sole function of the office should be to serve process and subpoenas. But we have a Sheriff's Office. The bailiffs in every court (other than JP courts and municipal courts) are sheriff's deputies. Deputy sheriffs serve subpoenas in criminal proceedings.

There is no further justification for constables in these modern times, unless they are going to be employees of the justice of the peace courts and process servers. There are more than enough paramilitary units patrolling this county as it is.

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