Constables hope to improve residents’ lives

The competition for Post 2 constable in Lincoln County has narrowed slightly, as the number of candidates has decreased from seven to six.

The three Democratic candidates are Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher, incumbent W. Lavon Boyd and Terry Fuller.

 

Constables in Lincoln County are independent law enforcement officers who serve processes (such as subpoenas, summons and evictions) for the Lincoln County Justice Courts (and chancery or circuit courts when needed) and are charged with keeping and preserving the peace within the county. Constables also serve as bailiffs in justice court.

 

Randy Belcher currently serves as Ward 1 alderman and has served multiple positions in law enforcement since completing the Mississippi Law Enforcement Academy in 2000. Belcher worked as an officer with the Brookhaven Police Department for more than seven years, during which time he often administered training. Belcher also worked at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department as a lieutenant for more than seven years, also active in a lot of training capacities.

 

Belcher said his leadership experience within law enforcement prepares and qualifies him for the position of constable.

 

“[Becoming constable] means a chance for me to get back out working with the public, which I like to do,” Belcher said. “I love law enforcement. I’ve been in it for years, and I love working with the people and being able to help anybody I can.”

 

Belcher said he would be fair if elected constable, something he has come to learn in law enforcement.

 

“I know, being in law enforcement, that there are different sides to a story,” Belcher said, and he cites substance addiction as a common opportunity to look past first offenses. “I’ve been in situations when I see they’re having hard times, and I’ll be there and try to help them.”

 

If he were elected, Belcher said, he would be the first black constable in Lincoln County, whereas in other counties the constable position has been roughly half black and white throughout the years.

 

“We’ve never had a black constable, and I feel this is the right time because I have the right experience, the right leadership ability, I’m an honest guy, and I believe this is the time to do that,” Belcher said.

 

Belcher and his wife Zandra have four daughters and attend Grace Community Church, where he is a deacon.

 

W. Lavon Boyd has served as Post 2 constable for the past 18 years, and started a security position at the Mississippi School of the Arts in 2014. He said in this time he has always kept his papers up to date and has served in all bailiff positions. He said in addition to the basic duties of constable, he is ready to aid others when needed.

 

“During disasters like Katrina I worked day and night with the sheriff’s department, police department, fire department, Homeland Security,” he said. “Whoever needed help I was there to help them.

 

“I want to keep helping the people of Lincoln County like I have in the past,” Boyd said. “I’ve always been a fair person to everybody that I serve, whether it be eviction or warrant of removal or whatever the case was. I’ve always tried to be fair and helpful with them. And basically, that’s what I want to continue doing.”

 

Boyd said he takes pride in his dependability as constable, and hopes to get re-elected in order to continue serving.

 

“Anybody who wants to call me, my number’s in the book, and it’ll be answered,” Boyd said. “If I don’t get it right then, I’ll call them right back. My paper serving is current. I’m 100 percent on my paper serving and court duties. And I must’ve done something good for 18 years.”

 

Boyd, a member at Topisaw Church, and his wife Tywana have two sons.

 

Terry Fuller, the third Democratic candidate for position, was not available for an interview.

 

James D. “Jimmy” Martin previously qualified as a candidate but has dropped out of the race.